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Published on September 4, 2007

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Roads Go Ever Ever On:The Life of J.R.R. TolkienBy Sarah Thrower:  Roads Go Ever Ever On: The Life of J.R.R. Tolkien By Sarah Thrower Introduction:  Introduction 'Roads go ever ever on, Over rock and under tree, By caves where never sun has shone, By streams that never find the sea; Over snow by winter sown, And through the merry flowers of June, Over grass and over stone, And under mountains in the moon. ~Bilbo Baggins The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again Tolkien: The Author:  Tolkien: The Author 'J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the twentieth century’s best-loved writers. His books have been translated into more than thirty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide' (Houghton Mifflin). The Works of J.R.R. Tolkien:  The Works of J.R.R. Tolkien The Hobbit Leaf by Niggle Farmer Giles of Ham The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth The Lord of the Rings The Adventures of Tom Bombadil The Road Goes Ever On (with Donald Swann) Smith of Wootton Major Works Published Posthumously:  Works Published Posthumously Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo The Father Christmas Letters The Silmarillion Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien Unfinished Tales The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien Fin and Hengest Mr. Bliss The Monsters and the Critics andamp; Other Essays Roverandom The Tolkien Tour:  The Tolkien Tour Shown here is a map of Middle-Earth drawn by J.R.R. Tolkien. The Tolkien Tour:The Beginning:  The Tolkien Tour: The Beginning January 3rd, 1892 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is born in Bloemfontien, South Africa to Arthur Reuel and Mabel (Suffield) Tolkien. The Tolkien Tour:His Youth in Birmingham:  The Tolkien Tour: His Youth in Birmingham At age eight, Tolkien’s father dies and his family move to the countryside outside of Birmingham. For four years the countryside inspires and moves him, thus his infatuation with nature begins. Soon after his mother dies. Tolkien and his siblings move to Birmingham to live with an aunt. Instead of green, fresh surroundings, Tolkien finds himself surrounded by smokestacks, factories, and other items which the Industrial Revolution influenced. All of which soon spread to the surrounding countryside. His love of nature and dislike of industry are thoroughly on display in Tolkien’s writings. For example, in The Lord of the Rings, Sam says, 'There’s some devilry at work in the Shire,' as the Mirror of Galadriel reveals to him an image of the countryside of the Shire covered in factories. The Tolkien Tour:His Youth in Birmingham:  The Tolkien Tour: His Youth in Birmingham The Sarehole Mill and the Moseley Bog are features in Birmingham which are thought to have inspired Tolkien in his writings of the Shire. The Tolkien Tour:His Youth in Birmingham:  The Tolkien Tour: His Youth in Birmingham Tolkien attends King Edward’s School in Birmingham at age nineteen and he and some friends create an informal fellowship which call themselves the Tea Club Barrovian Society (T.C.B.S.) which joins to discuss their love of literature. It is with his friends from the T.C.B.S that Tolkien first confesses his desire to write a great epic. His friends thoroughly encourage him. Tolkien also develops a fascination for languages and begins to invent his own. His elven languages which appear in his Middle-Earth sagas, Quenya, and Sindarin (spoken languages), and Tengwar, (alphabet-example given below) and Cirith (runes) are his most complete and well known languages. In the end, one Tolkien expert confirms that he invented fourteen languages, while others say there are as many as twenty-one! The Tolkien Tour:World War 1 :  The Tolkien Tour: World War 1 Tolkien first finishes his studies at Oxford then enlists in the British Army as second lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers. Tolkien goes to France in 1916, and encounters action almost immediately at the Battle of the Somme (June-November 1916), which claims the lives of two of the T.C.B.S. members. After four months in the trenches Tolkien becomes ill with ‘trench fever’, a typhus like illness, which he can not shake off. In September of 1918 he finally returns to England from France. The Tolkien Tour:World War 1:  The Tolkien Tour: World War 1 By the end of the war in 1918, all of Tolkien’s close friends had died with the exception of one. Tolkien was only twenty-six years old. The Tolkien Tour:His Friendships:  The Tolkien Tour: His Friendships In 1926 Tolkien meets C.S. Lewis the future author of The Narnia Chronicles. 'Here are beauties which pierce like swords or burn like cold iron' is a famous critique from Lewis about Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings. In the1930s Tolkien and Lewis found a club called The Inklings. The Tolkien Tour:The Inklings:  The Tolkien Tour: The Inklings Above: A plaque concerning The Inklings. Below: The Eagle and Child pub where The Inklings met every Tuesday morning. The Tolkien Tour:Oxford University:  The Tolkien Tour: Oxford University The Botanical Gardens It is rumored that this tree was Tolkien’s favorite tree to lounge by. The Tolkien Tour:Oxford University:  The Tolkien Tour: Oxford University Tolkien could often be seen reading by his favorite tree. The picture to the right, is a rather famous picture of Tolkien leaning on his tree. The Tolkien Tour:Oxford University:  The Tolkien Tour: Oxford University Part of the Bodleian Library Tolkien thought that this building, looked like Sauron's temple to the evil Morgoth on Nümenor which appeared in his book The Silmarillion. The Tolkien Tour:Oxford University:  The Tolkien Tour: Oxford University The Two Trees The trees were planted by the Tolkien Society and the Mythopoeic Society in Memory of Tolkien in 1992 on the one hundredth year anniversary of his birth. The trees are meant to represent The Two Trees of Valinor (one silver-Silpion, one gold, Laurelin) which appear in The Silmarillion. A memorial bench was placed nearby The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford:  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford 50 St. Johns Street. 1918 – 1919 Tolkien lives here with his wife Edith while stationed in the military. Tolkien works on the Oxford English Dictionary with William Craigie. The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford:  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford 1 Alfred Street. 1919 – 1921 Just around the corner from the previous house, Tolkien continues his work on the OED. He also finds work as a freelance tutor. The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford:  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford 22 Northmoor Road. 1925 – 1930 Tolkien and his wife move to this house as he accepts the teaching position of Anglo-Saxon at Rawlinson and Bosworth Colleges. The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford:  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford 20 Northmoor Road. 1930 – 1947 While grading papers at home Tolkien scribbles, '… and in a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit.' This is marks the beginning of his novel called The Hobbit. The novel is not completed until 1937, and is originally intended for his children’s eyes only, until his friend C.S. Lewis encourages him to publish it. The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford:  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford 3 Manor Road. 1947 – 1950 As his children begin to grow up and move out Tolkien, Edith and the remaining children move to this smaller home. The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford:  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford 99 Holywell Street. 1950 – 1953 While Tolkien lives in this house, he offers the manuscript of The Lord of the Rings to the Collins Publishing House. The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford:  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford 76 Sandfield Road. 1953 – 1968 This is the final house that his Tolkien family live in together in Oxford. While living here, all three volumes of the Lord of the Rings are published.  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford:  The Tolkien Tour: J.R.R.Tolkien’s Various Homes in Oxford 21 Merton Street. 1973 Tolkien moves to this residence after the death of his wife Edith. This was formerly part of the Eastgate Hotel but was bought by Merton College as a dormitory. The Tolkien Tour: The End:  The Tolkien Tour: The End Tolkien died on September 2nd, 1973. He is buried beside his wife in the Wolvercote cemetery in Oxford. Their headstones read: Edith Mary Tolkien Luthien 1889-1971 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien Beren 1892-1973 The names Beren and Luthien refer to two star-crossed lovers in Tolkien’s story The Silmarillion. Miscellaneous Facts:  Miscellaneous Facts 'The languages Tolkien knew included: Ancient Greek, Latin, Gothic, Old Norse (Old Icelandic), Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Anglo-Saxon (Old English), Middle English, German, Dutch, French, Spanish, Italian, Welsh, and Finnish' (Colbert 80). Tolkien designed Middle-Earth similarly to Europe. Although neither continent share identical geographical features (mountains, rivers, etc.), certain locations share similar geographical coordinates such as Hobbiton to Oxford as well as Gondor to Italy. Tolkien had four children and all of them were named after him as their middle names were all Reuel. It took him 60 years to write the book, The Silmarillion. Memorable Quotes:  Memorable Quotes 'I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.' 'I am in fact a Hobbit, in all but size.' 'He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.' 'Little by little, one travels far.' Conclusion:  Conclusion 'Roads go ever ever on Under cloud and under star, Yet feet that wandering have gone Turn at last to home afar. Eyes that fire and sword have seen And horror in the halls of stone Look at last on meadows green And trees and hills they long have known.' ~Bilbo Baggins The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again Acknowledgements Hypertext Internet Sources and Brief Information of Book Sources:  Acknowledgements Hypertext Internet Sources and Brief Information of Book Sources Tolkien Seal courtesy of: J.R.R. Tolkien Oxford. (Image URL) Roads poem part 1 courtesy of: The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again Houghton Mifflin quote courtesy of: The Fellowship of the Ring, Being Part One of The Lord of the Rings Published Works List courtesy of: The Fellowship of the Ring, being part one of The Lord of the Rings Tolkien’s Map of Middle-Earth courtesy of Middle-Earth Tours (Image URL) Image of J.R.R. Tolkien courtesy of: J.R.R. Tolkien in Oxford (Image URL) Acknowledgements Hypertext Internet Sources and Brief Information of Book Sources:  Acknowledgements Hypertext Internet Sources and Brief Information of Book Sources Sam Quote courtesy of: The Fellowship of the Ring, Being Part One of The Lord of the Rings Birmingham features images courtesy of: The BBC Online (Mill URL, Bog URL) Tengwar example courtesy of: Tengwar Translator of BobbyCarroll.com WW1 information courtesy of: Public Records Office War image of J.R.R. Tolkien courtesy of: FTLComm (Image URL) C.S. Lewis quote courtesy of: Amazon.com C.S. Lewis image courtesy of: The Pleasure of Reading and Collecting Books (Image URL) Acknowledgements Hypertext Internet Sources and Brief Information of Book Sources:  Acknowledgements Hypertext Internet Sources and Brief Information of Book Sources The Inklings images and information courtesy of: The Catholic Education Resource Center (Pub URL), TheOneRing.net (Plaque URL) and J.R.R. Tolkien: Creator of Languages and Legends Information of Tolkien’s favorite places at Oxford University courtesy of: Taruithorn, The Oxford Tolkien Society Image of favorite tree courtesy of: Taruithorn, The Oxford Tolkien Society (Image URL) Image of Tolkien by the tree courtesy of: BookReporter.com (Image URL) Image of Bodelian Library courtesy of: Taruithorn, The Oxford Tolkien Society (Image URL) Image of the Two Trees courtesy of: Taruithorn, The Oxford Tolkien Society (Image URL) Acknowledgements Hypertext Internet Sources and Brief Information of Book Sources:  Acknowledgements Hypertext Internet Sources and Brief Information of Book Sources Images of Tolkien’s homes in Oxford courtesy of: J.R.R. Tolkien in Oxford (St. Johns Street URL, Alfred Street URL, 22 Northmoor URL, 20 Northmoor URL, 3 Manor URL, 99 Holywell URL, 76 Sandfield URL, 21 Merton URL) Image of Tolkien’s Grave courtesy of:: J.R.R. Tolkien in Oxford (Image URL) Miscellaneous Facts courtesy of: The Magical Worlds of The Lord of the Rings: The Amazing Myths, Legends, and Facts Behind the Masterpiece, Eleven Facts About J.R.R. Tolkien by Jack Troshynski Tolkien quotes courtesy of: J.R.R. Tolkien in Oxford, The Quotations Page, The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations, EnglishScholar.com Roads poem part 2 courtesy of: The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again AcknowledgementsComplete Information of Book Sources:  Acknowledgements Complete Information of Book Sources Andrews, Robert. 'Curiosity.' The Concise Columbia Dictionary of Quotations. New York: Columbia University Press, 1992. 68. Colbert, David. The Magical Worlds of The Lord of the Rings: The Amazing Myths, Legends, and Facts Behind the Masterpiece. New York: Berkley Books, 2002. 80, 93, 94. Lynch, Doris. J.R.R. Tolkien: Creator of Languages and Legends. Franklin Watts ed. A division of Scholastic Inc; New York: 2003. 86-87. Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Fellowship of the Ring, being the first part of The Lord of the Rings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1994. 353. Tolkien, J.R.R.. The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1996. 325-26.

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