J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography Short Essay - Answer Key

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1. What does Humphrey Carpenter say about the Tolkiens in Part One of this book?

Part one relays details of Humphrey Carpenter's visit to Ronald Tolkien in 1967. The Tolkiens live in a suburb of Oxford known as Headington. Carpenter is expected, but is greeted with some puzzlement as if the professor has forgotten about the appointment. Carpenter notes that Tolkien is a small man, which is somewhat surprising considering the emphasis the author places on height in his work. Carpenter meets Edith Tolkien, who is very petite and pleasant. Tolkien takes Carpenter into a garage that has been converted into an office. Tolkien apologizes for the lack of amenities, but the study of the typical uses in the house is cramped and not fit for guests. Tolkien is in the process of working on a contradiction that appears in THE LORD OF THE RINGS. The error had been pointed out by a reader and Tolkien considers the matter urgent because a revised edition is about to be printed. Carpenter notes that Tolkien talks about the series as if it is historical fact and not his own creation.

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