Tolkien, J. R. R. (1892-1973) - Research Article from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture

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Tolkien, J. R. R. (1892-1973)

Born in South Africa in 1892 to English parents and resident of the United Kingdom from 1895 until his death in 1973, J. R. R. Tolkien is the most prominent fantasy writer of the twentieth century. He is beloved for his epic fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings (1954-1955), and its prequel, The Hobbit (1937). Although exactitude is impossible, Patrick Curry estimates worldwide sales of The Lord of the Rings at approximately 50 million copies—"probably the biggest-selling single work of fiction this century." The Hobbit has sold an estimated 35 to 40 million copies, and Tolkien's books have been translated into more than 30 languages. A 1997 survey of some 25,000 readers in England found The Lord of the Rings to be the runaway winner as the most important book of the past 100 years.

Tolkien was also a prominent philologist. His academic career encompassed 39 years, dating from...

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This section contains 1,417 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Tolkien, J. R. R. (1892-1973) Encyclopedia Article
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Tolkien, J. R. R. (1892-1973) from St. James Encyclopedia of Popular Culture. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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