Born in Bloemfontein on this date in 1892, South African-born English author John Ronald Reuel Tolkien.
Owing to Peter Jackson’s cinematic productions of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Tolkien’s works have become universally recognized. The books themselves had long before enjoyed a world-wide, if cultish, popularity. To date, each has sold 100 million or more copies, placing them in the top eight of all publications. But many familiar only with the movies based upon Tolkien’s works may not know he was the creator of these and other Middle Earth tales, and most know little of his life.
J. R. R. Tolkien was an Oxford-educated philologist, his first position there as Professor of Anglo-Saxon. His translations of early English literature include Beowulf, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo, and he wrote a number of scholarly works concerning these and others.
The Hobbit, first published in 1937, was likely started in the Summer of 1930, when, in creating a story for his own children, he penned the opening line “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit“. That same year, he put on hold other projects he had been pursuing, and began work on a sequel to The Hobbit, the writings which would become The Lord of the Rings. Twelve years later it was complete, and he began negotiating publication of both it and The Silmarillion, on which he was still working.
The Lord of the Rings was originally published in three parts, from July 1954 through October 1955, by Allen & Unwin. An unauthorized paperback edition of The Fellowship of the Ring was released by Ace Books in May 1965. Five months later, Ballantine Books would “publish the 3 paperback volumes of the revised text of The Lord of the Rings” in the United States.
Tolkien died in September of 1973. The Silmarillion was published in 1977.
Much more about Tolkien, his books, a timeline of his life, and an extensive biography:http://www.tolkiensociety.org/
JRR Tolkien '1892-1973' - A Study Of The Maker Of Middle-earthhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HkmNHP58OhU