Study Guide

J. R. R. Tolkien Biography

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein, South Africa, where his father was a bank manager. After his father's death, four-year-old Ronald, his younger brother, and mother settled in Sarehole, a village in the West Midlands of England. Tolkien retained an idealized image of the Sarehole Mill, the old mill pool with its overhanging willow tree, a nearby tempting mushroom patch, and clusters of cottages—all of which later figured in his picture of Hobbiton. At this time young Ronald was already discovering two interests that were to shape his life: languages and stories about imaginative places. When his mother moved the family to Birmingham, the trains and factories created a much more forbidding atmosphere, one from which he later encouraged people to "escape" through imaginative literature.

During his years at King Edward's school in Birmingham and later at Oxford, Tolkien concentrated on philology...

(read more from the About the Author section)

This section contains 704 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Lord of the Rings Study Guide
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The Lord of the Rings from Epics for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.