JRR Tolkien

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J. R. R. Tolkien; Bust in Oxford (2012)

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien [ dʒɒn ˈɹɒnld ɹuːl ˈtɒlkiːn ], CBE (born January 3, 1892 in Bloemfontein , Orange Free State , † September 2, 1973 in Bournemouth , England ) was a British writer and philologist . His novel The Lord of the Rings ( The Lord of the Rings , 1954/55, published in German 1969/70) is one of the most successful books of the 20th century and is considered a fundamental work for modern fantasy literature.

Tolkien, later professor of English at Oxford University , had been working on his own mythology since his youth , based on specially constructed languages and only appeared posthumously under the title The Silmarillion . Both The Lord of the Rings and the successful children's book The Hobbit (1937) are set in this world invented by Tolkien . Some of his linguistic and literary contributions, such as the essay Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics (1936), are also considered to be groundbreaking.


Mabel Tolkien's Christmas card from November 15, 1892 with a photo of the family; right J. R. R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in 1892 to English parents, the bank manager Arthur Reuel Tolkien (1857-1896) and his wife Mabel Suffield (1870-1904), in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, where his father was staying for professional reasons . His family on his father's side originally came from Saxony (today in the Lower Saxony area, the family name is said to be derived from the word "daring", another suspected origin is the East Prussian place name Tolkynen ), but had lived in England since the 18th century. Most of Tolkien's ancestors were craftsmen. In 1894 his brother Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien was born.


Tolkien's early childhood was largely calm and uneventful except for a tarantula bite , which is considered to be a possible trigger for the repeated occurrence of poisonous giant spiders in his works.

In 1895 he came with his mother, who did not tolerate the African climate well, and his brother Hilary on vacation in Birmingham, England . It was there that his mother received news of her husband's death the following year, who had died of severe internal bleeding. The family then moved to Sarehole Mill, a suburb of Birmingham, which at that time was largely untouched by industrialization . Tolkien spent the next four years of his childhood in this rural idyll, which later became the literary model for the Shire , part of his mythological world. It was here that he was first familiar with the dialect word gamgee for cotton , which later became the name of one of the hobbit protagonists in his major work The Lord of the Rings .

His mother, who converted to the Roman Catholic Church against the will of her parents and in-laws in 1900 , raised her children in her faith. This ideological foundation ran through Tolkien's entire life and had far-reaching effects on his work.

Since he showed an early interest in languages, his mother taught him the basics of Latin , French and German . Through them he was with the stories of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland , the Arthur - Sage and the fairy tales of Andrew Lang familiarized in which he for the first time by the Nordic legends of Siegfried and the dragon Fafnir heard.

Between 1900 and 1902 drew Tolkien with his mother several times within Birmingham's order, first in the district Moseley, then to King's Heath, to where it through the unfamiliar names on the passing behind the house coal cars for the first time it aesthetically touching Welsh came, finally after Edgbaston. Since all of these places had an urban character, his rural childhood days were over. In addition, there was an odyssey through various schools: initially accepted at King Edward's School , he moved to St. Philips Grammar School in 1902 , and then returned to King Edward's School in 1903 on a scholarship . There he learned not only the classical languages ​​Latin and Greek through a dedicated teacher but also Middle English .

On November 14, 1904, his mother died, a complete surprise for the twelve-year-old, after a six-day diabetic coma . This early death made him feel even closer to the faith and the Catholic Church as an orphan . This event also strengthened his pessimistic attitude. He saw, in the spirit of the Bible ( 1 John 5:19  EU : "We know: We are from God, but the whole world is under the power of evil."), The world in the hands of evil. Only in the victories of the good, so his idea, could the bad be temporarily pushed back. For him man could only find redemption through faith in Jesus Christ and eternal life . This attitude became the basic tenor of his literary work.


The two brothers came into the care of Father Francis Morgan, a priest friend of theirs, who first placed them with her aunt Beatrice Bartlett and later with a befriended landlady. There Tolkien met his future wife, Edith Bratt, who was three years older than him, in 1908. When his guardian found out about this, he forbade Tolkien to have any contact with Edith until he reached the age of twenty-one.

In the meantime, Tolkien not only became aware of philology , the science of the laws of language, through his school principal , but also brought him into contact with Old English through a teacher friend of his . It was at this time that he read a centerpiece of Old English literature , the poem Beowulf , for the first time and was instantly impressed. In Middle English he familiarized himself with the poems Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Pearl from the Cotton Nero Ax manuscript collection . He later submitted significant academic work on all three works. Finally he turned to Old Norse in order to be able to read the original story of Siegfried and the dragon Fafnir, which had fascinated him as a child.

Spurred on by his newly acquired philological knowledge, Tolkien soon began to invent his own languages, based on his already well-developed knowledge of linguistic development principles. Early attempts were based on Spanish , but when he became aware of Gothic through a school friend , he not only began to automatically fill in the gaps in this extinct language (and probably mainly due to the limited tradition), but also tried to to lead the Gothic back to a hypothetical original language.

This close preoccupation with languages ​​soon became evident in school, too, where Tolkien surprised his audience with fluent lectures in Greek, Gothic or Old English during debates (at that time mostly held in Latin).

In the summer of 1911, Tolkien and a few friends, including Christopher Wiseman, Robert Quilter Gilson, and Geoffrey Bache Smith, formed the TCBS (Tea Club - Barrovian Society) , an informal community of friends, initially in the school library and later in Barrow's Stores met regularly to discuss literature with one another. And possibly inspired at this time by the TCBS, Tolkien began in earnest in order to write poems in which for the first time dancing in Woodland Faerie (fairies) appeared. A possible impetus for this could have come from the Catholic poet of mystical poetry, Francis Thompson , whose poetic work Tolkien was demonstrably dealing with at the time.

After a failed attempt in 1909, he succeeded in December 1910 in receiving a scholarship from Exeter College , Oxford . Knowing that this secured his immediate future, Tolkien went on to the rest of his school days. Despite his later aversion to the theater, Tolkien willingly took part in a performance of Aristophanes ' play The Peace in the role of Hermes and also returned in December 1911 for a performance of RB Sheridan's The Rivals by members of the TCBS in which he played the Mrs. Malaprop took over, once again going back to his old school.

Between the end of school and the beginning of his studies in Oxford, Tolkien spent a hiking holiday in Switzerland with his brother and other friends. A postcard with the name Der Berggeist , on which an old man sitting under a pine tree on a rock is depicted (the picture comes from the mystical-esoterically oriented German painter Josef Madlener from Memmingen ), became the inspiration for the figure according to his later information the wizard Gandalf in his self-created world of Middle-earth .

Study time

In October 1911 Tolkien began his studies at Exeter College in Oxford, initially in Classics , the study of the classical languages ​​Latin and Greek and their literature, but soon got bored. Only comparative linguistics could attract his interest. His professor in this subject pointed him out to Welsh, which Tolkien turned enthusiastically into.

After his two-week summer vacation in 1912, which he spent with King Edward's Horse , a cavalry regiment, mainly in horse saddle, he returned to Oxford. Here he soon began to deal with Finnish . This influence was also evident in the fact that he gave up his project of an artificial language based on Gothic and instead oriented himself to his new favorite language. Years later, the result found its way into his mythological world "Middle-earth" as Quenya , the standard language of the Elves .

Tolkien spent Christmas 1912 with relatives, where, following a widespread English Christmas custom, he staged a self-written play as director and leading actor - a remarkable fact given his later aversion to drama. On January 3, 1913, the day he came of age, he wrote to his childhood sweetheart Edith for the first time, but learned that she had in the meantime become engaged to the brother of a school friend, George Field. Not inclined to give up his great love, Tolkien then visited her personally at her new place of residence, where he managed to change her mind. One year later, after Edith's admission to the Catholic Church, the official engagement took place; after another two years, on March 22, 1916, the wedding.

Meanwhile, his academic path was not straightforward either. Due to his neglect of the actual subject matter in favor of his numerous language interests, he passed an intermediate examination after two years of study, disappointing for him only with a “second” (comparable to the German grade “good”). At the suggestion of his college , where his interest in Germanic languages ​​was noticed, he then switched to the "Institute for English Language and Literature". There he read the Anglo-Saxon work Christ (early 9th century), a collection of religious poetry, as part of the demanding Old English literary canon . Two lines of this poem had a lasting influence on him:

“Eala Earendel engla beorhtast
ofer middangeard monnum sent”

"Hail Earendel, most radiant angel,
sent to people over Middle-earth"

With middangeard or middle earth the world of the people is meant here. Tolkien believed that the name Earendel , traditionally translated as "ray of light", refers to the morning star, Venus , which heralds the end of night and the dawn of day with its rising. He himself later described the effect of these lines on himself as follows:

“I felt a curious thrill, as if something had stirred in me, half wakened from sleep. There was something very remote and strange and beautiful behind those words, […] far beyond ancient English. ”

“I felt strangely inspired, as if something had stirred inside me, half awakened from sleep. There was something immensely distant, wondrous and beautiful behind these words, [...] far beyond old English. "

- JRR Tolkien

This point in time can be cautiously set as the hour of birth of his mythology, because a year later he wrote the poem The Voyage of Earendel the Evening Star , which begins with the lines quoted above and forms the germ of his Middle-earth mythology.

His further studies were calm; he continued to meet with his friends from the Tea Club and Barrovian Society (TCBS), who assisted him in his poetic endeavors. An anecdote from this period sheds significant light on the way of working that was later characteristic of Tolkien: When asked by his friend G. B. Smith about the background of his Earendel poem, Tolkien replied: “ I don't know. I'll try to find out. ”(German:“ I don't know. I'll try to find out. ”) This view of writing not as a new creation, but as a journey of discovery remained decisive for him throughout his life. In the year after the outbreak of the First World War , in the second week of June 1915, he completed his studies - this time with First Class Honors .

First World War

Tolkien in 1916

Tolkien was appointed as a communications officer in the 11th Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers Regiment and from the summer of 1916 took part in the Battle of the Somme , the bloodiest battle of the First World War, through active service at the front . The direct experience of the atrocities of trench warfare struck him deeply and made the invasion of evil into a peaceful world a fundamental theme of his life and his literature . On October 27, 1916, he showed the symptoms of lice-borne typhus , which was rampant in the trenches, and was shipped to England on November 8 for treatment.

During his convalescence leave, first in Birmingham and then in Great Haywood, he learned of the death of his TCBS comrade G. B. Smith, after he had learned of the loss of his school friend Rob Gilson in France. Smith's last letter closes with the moving lines: "May God bless you, my dear John Ronald, and may you say the things I have tried to say long after I am not there to say them, if such be my lot." - "May God bless you, my dear John Ronald, and may you say the things that I have tried to say long after I will no longer be there to say them myself, should this be my fate." For Tolkien they became a legacy. He began with a project that has no great role models in the history of literature, the creation of a complete cycle of legends that begins with the creation of the world. With the writing of The Book of Lost Tales , which was only published posthumously in this form by his son Christopher , larger parts of his mythology, later elaborated in The Silmarillion , existed for the first time .

It was here that he consistently used his invented languages ​​for the first time, especially Quenya, which is based on Finnish, and Sindarin , which goes back to Welsh. He now used both as the language of the Elves in Middle-earth .

Meanwhile, his health was fluctuating and the danger of being sent back to the front hovered over him. Temporarily transferred to Yorkshire , he soon fell ill and was transferred to the Harrogate sanatorium . Sent to a telecommunications school in the northeast, recovered again, fell ill again after graduation and this time was taken to the officers' hospital in Kingston upon Hull .

During this time, on November 16, 1917, Edith gave birth to their first son, who was baptized John Francis Reuel in honor of Father Francis. He was followed on October 22, 1920 by Michael Hilary Reuel, on November 21, 1924 by Christopher John Reuel and finally on December 22, 1929 by the daughter Priscilla Anne Reuel. The time after the birth of the first son was marked by happy moments: Edith sang and danced for him on land excursions into the surrounding forests - this ultimately led to the story of the great love between the mortal hero Beren and the beautiful but immortal Elbin Lúthien , which can be considered a center of the Silmarillion .

After further transfers in the spring of 1918, to Penkridge in the county of Staffordshire and back to Hull, Tolkien fell ill again and again had to be admitted to the officers' hospital. This time he used the time to teach himself a little Russian while working on his mythology . After his release in October, it was finally clear that the end of the war was imminent. Looking for work, he turned to one of his former Oxford lecturers, William A. Craigie , who got him a job with the New English Dictionary so that Tolkien could move to Oxford with his wife and children in November 1918.

Until 1930, the Tolkiens lived at 22 Northmoor Road in Oxford. Then they moved one house down to 20 Northmoor Road.

Early career years

While his satire Farmer Giles of Ham contains some ironic allusions to his time at the New English Dictionary , it was a happy time overall. Permanently united with Edith for the first time and living in his own house, he found his work also intellectually stimulating. He later said of the two years he was involved in the production of the dictionary that he had never studied more at any time in his life. The tasks set for him did not fill up the day, however, so that he also found time to teach students as a private tutor - an activity that turned out to be lucrative enough to be able to finish working on the New English Dictionary in 1920 . But if the financial situation was acceptable, Tolkien had not given up his desire to pursue an academic career. A surprising opportunity arose in the summer of 1920: In Leeds , the position of a “reader” (comparable to the German professor in grade C 3 / W 2) at the English language institute had become vacant. Although he was initially skeptical about his chances, he got the job. However, this also meant another separation from Edith, who stayed with her two sons in Oxford until she was able to move there in 1921.

His superior initially entrusted him with the organization of the curriculum for Old and Middle English. In 1922 the Canadian Eric Valentine Gordon came to Leeds as a lecturer. Tolkien worked with him on a new edition of the Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight , which after its publication in 1925 was soon considered to be an outstanding contribution to Middle English philology. The two colleagues also got closer privately and together with students formed the Viking Club, in which, in addition to ample beer enjoyment, the focus was on Old Norse drinking songs and sometimes quite rough chants in Old English - a circumstance that is probably not insignificant to Tolkien's popularity among his students contributed. After four years in Leeds, in 1924, a professorship for English was finally established for Tolkien.

Poems from this period contain the first references to creatures that later found their place in his Middle-earth mythology: The poem Glib, for example, describes a slimy being with faintly shining eyes that lives deep in a cave, which is reminiscent of the figure of the Gollum remembers. His “serious” mythology, which was published in the Book of Lost Stories in the early 1980s , was now almost complete. He selected two of the legends, the story of Túrin Turambar and the story of Lúthien and Beren, to translate them into a more detailed form of poetry.

In 1925 the Rawlinson and Bosworth Chair in Anglo-Saxon at Oxford's Pembroke College suddenly became vacant. Tolkien applied and was awarded the post , probably due to the reputation of his Sir Gawain edition. In 1926, Tolkien founded the Kolbitar ( Icelandic for "coal bite") among colleagues , an informal group that met regularly to read the Icelandic sagas in the Old Norse original language. Clive Staples Lewis ( The Chronicles of Narnia ) belonged to this group since 1927, a colleague of Tolkien since 1926, who soon became his closest friend. Lewis also supported him in a curriculum reform that placed greater emphasis on the connection between linguistics and literary studies and which, initiated by Tolkien, was accepted by the faculty in 1931. However, it was not on these professional achievements that Tolkien's later fame was based. His two main works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings , both have their roots in the domestic family circle, in the role of a father, which Tolkien fulfilled in an exemplary manner towards his children.

Tolkien's second home in Oxford

The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

In the early 1920s and 1930s, Tolkien began to regularly tell his children imaginative stories, but most of them took place outside of the mythical world on which he was already seriously working at the time. The story Roverandom , which goes back to the disappearance of a toy dog ​​of his second son Michael, originates from this time . While this story only contains one or two cryptic references to the larger mythology that were then only understandable to him, the story The Hobbit, begun in 1930, already refers several times to events from his serious mythology, such as the references to the Elven city of Gondolin , which at this time already part of his legendary world, which was later settled in the First Age of Middle-earth , and the figure of the necromancer. Through the mediation of a former student, the publishing house Allen & Unwin became aware of his story, which was published in 1937 after a positive review by the publisher's son, Rayner Unwin. At the urgent request of the publisher, Tolkien began work on a follow-up story that, like The Hobbit , was initially designed as a children's book . Towards the end of the 1930s, after being inspired by CS Lewis, who was now associated with him in the literary circle of the Inklings - a group that included Lewis and Tolkien as well as Charles Williams , Owen Barfield , Hugo Dyson and Adam Fox - held he gave the much-acclaimed lecture On Fairy-Stories , in which he described the principles of the later emerging fantasy genre and vigorously defended against accusations of escapism (flight from reality).

During the Second World War , work on his follow-up project for The Hobbit , which was now called The Lord of the Rings , dragged on . This work was repeatedly interrupted by other tasks.

Tolkien's third house in Oxford

In 1945 he switched to the professorship for English , still in Oxford . It wasn't until 1954 that The Lord of the Rings was published. The delay had to do with Tolkien's perfectionism on the one hand, but also with Tolkien's desire to change publishing house, which was motivated by the supposed rejection of his serious mythical work The Silmarillion . When his old publisher Allen & Unwin declined an ultimatum to publish his overall mythology ( The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion ) without the possibility of viewing the manuscript , Tolkien put his work on the Collins publishing house.

After initial enthusiasm, however, they insisted on extensive cuts, which Tolkien was not ready to make, so he ruefully turned to his old publisher again. Rayner Unwin, who had studied the Hobbit as a child , had now risen to junior publisher and accepted the book without further corrections. Due to the exorbitant paper prices in England as a result of the war, the work was published in three volumes ( The Fellowship of the Ring , The Two Towers and The Return of the King ), so that each individual volume could be offered at affordable prices. Hence the erroneously used categorization of the complete works as a trilogy , which Tolkien rejected throughout his life. Originally he had divided the work into six books.

In 1964, American publisher Donald A. Wollheim of Ace Books asked permission to publish The Lord of the Rings in paperback in the United States. Tolkien declined on the grounds that he did not want an edition of his work in such a degenerate form. This rejection angered Wollheim - paperback pioneer in the United States - to such an extent that he looked for a copyright loophole. In fact, paperback rights for the United States were not clearly regulated. Wollheim concluded that the rights for the states were free, and with what was later referred to as pirated printing, laid the basis for the book's immense success in the United States. The resulting litigation was later decided in favor of Ace Books.

Wollheim's unauthorized copy of The Lord of the Rings sparked a cult movement among students, quickly making Tolkien a celebrity. Due to close ties to his increasingly numerous fans, who exerted considerable pressure on the publisher of the pirate edition in his favor, Tolkien managed, contrary to the legal situation that was unfavorable for him, that the pirate edition was discontinued, so that soon only the version authorized by him was left was available in the US market.

Last years

Tolkien spent the rest of his life working on the Silmarillion , which he did not finish until the end of his life and which was only published by his son Christopher Tolkien after his death .

He and his wife Edith moved to the English seaside resort of Bournemouth for a few years . Edith died there in 1971, after which Tolkien moved back to Oxford. In 1972 he was awarded the rank of Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II . Thus he had the right to add the appropriate abbreviation to his name (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE). However, he was not a knight and had no title of nobility. He translated the book of Jonah for the English-language edition of the Jerusalem Bible , the most important international Evangelical-Catholic Bible edition of the present day .

Tolkien also worked on a sequel to The Lord of the Rings . It was supposed to tell how, a few years after the death of the protagonists of the trilogy, a secret society of young people tried to give Sauron back his old strength. The fragment of the novel, which reflects the fears of youth religions widespread in the early 1970s , was published posthumously in 1996 under the title The New Shadow .


The grave of Edith and J. R. R. Tolkien in Oxford

On September 2, 1973, Tolkien died at the age of 81 after a brief illness in a private hospital in Bournemouth, where he had returned for a short vacation. His eldest son, John Francis Reuel (1917–2003), who was ordained a Catholic priest on February 10, 1946, read mass at his father's funeral.

The tomb of J. R. R. Tolkien and his wife is in the Catholic section of Wolvercote Cemetery on Jordan Hill in Oxford; In addition to their names, the gravestones also contain the names Beren and Lúthien  - symbols of a love that endures death.

Posthumously , Tolkien received several honors, including several British awards from Channel 4 , Waterstone’s , the Folio Society and SFX magazine , which recognized him as the most outstanding and influential writer of the century.

He was also posthumously inducted into the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 2013 .

Christopher Tolkien (1924–2020), who had already edited his father's documents during his lifetime, published the Silmarillion from 1977 and, from 1983 to 1996, the History of Middle-earth . The German Tolkien Society (DTG) has dedicated itself to the life and work of J. R. R. Tolkien in Germany since 1997 .

Large parts of the estate (manuscripts, correspondence, proofs, and other materials related to Roverandom and Sigelwara Land, among others ) are in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. The asteroid of the main inner belt (2675) Tolkien is named after him.

Catalog raisonné

Tolkien's academic publications as well as his literary works are listed below.


  • A Middle English Vocabulary . 1922.
  • Some Contributions to Middle-English Lexicography. 1925.
  • The Devil's Coach Horses . 1925.
  • Edition by Sir Gawain and the Green Knight . 1925.
  • Ancrene Wisse and Hali Meiðhad. 1929.
  • Sigelwara Land . Parts I / II 1932/1934.
  • Chaucer as a Philologist: The Reeve's Tale. 1935.
  • Beowulf, The Monsters and the Critics. Sir Israel Gollancz memorial lecture 1936. Oxford Univ. Press, London 1936, Oxford 1971, Arden Libr, Darby 1978 (reprint).
  • Sir Orfeo . 1944.
  • "Iþþlen" in Sawles Warde. 1947.
  • On fairy stories . 1947.
  • Middle English "Losenger". 1953.
  • Ancrene Wisse : The English Text of the Ancrene Riwle. 1962.
  • English and Welsh. 1963.
  • Translations of Pearl . and Sir Orfeo . posthumously 1975.
  • The Old English Exodus. Text, translation, commentary of the old English Poem exodus. posthumously 1981.
  • Finn and Hengest : The Fragment and the Episode. posthumously 1982, translation and commentary
  • Beowulf and the Critics. posthumously 2002.
  • Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary , posthumously 2014.
  • Beowulf . (Verse translation) previously unpublished.

Prose works



  • Poem: The Battle of the Eastern Field. 1911.
  • Poem: From the many-willow'd margin of the immemorial Thames. 1913.
  • Poem: You & me and the Cottage of Lost Play . 1915.
  • Poem: Kortirion among the trees. 1915.
  • Poem: Goblin Feet. 1915.
  • Poem: The Happy Mariners. 1920.
  • Poem: The Clerke's Compleinte. 1922.
  • Poem: Iúmonna Gold Galdre Marvel . 1923.
  • Poem: The City of the Gods. 1923.
  • Poem: The Eadigan Saelidan. 1923.
  • Poem: Why the Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon. 1923.
  • Poem: Enigmala Saxonic - a Nuper Inventa Duo. 1923.
  • Poem: The Cat and the Fiddle: A Nursery-Rhyme Undone and its Scandalous secret Unlocked. 1923.
  • Poem: An Evening in Tavrobel. 1924.
  • Poem: The Lonely Isle. 1924.
  • Poem: The Princess Ni. 1924.
  • Poem: Light as Leaf on Lindentree. 1925:
  • Poem: The Nameless Land. 1926.
  • Poem: Adventures in Unnatural History and Medieval Metres, being the Freaks of Fisiologus. 1927.
  • Poem: Progress in Bimble Town. 1931.
  • Poem: Errantry. 1933.
  • Poem: Firiel. 1934.
  • Poem: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil. 1934.
  • Poetry collection: Songs for the Philologists . together with E. V. Gordon and others in 1936.
  • Poem: The Dragon's Visit. 1937.
  • Poem: Knocking at the Door: Lines induced by sensations when waiting for an answer a the door of an Exalted Academic Person. 1937.
  • Poem: The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun . 1945.
  • Poem: Imram. 1955.
  • Collection of poems: The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Poems from the Red Book (The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and other verses from The Red Book) . 1962.
  • Poem: Once upon a time. 1965.
  • Poem: For WHA 1967.
  • Poetry cycle: The Road Goes Ever On: A Song Cycle. 1967, set to music by Donald Swann
  • Poem: Bilbo's farewell song . (Bilbo's Last Song). posthumously 1974; German translation (Ebba-Margareta von Freymann) ISBN 3-480-14249-4 .


  • Autobiographical Report: Tolkien on Tolkien. 1966.
  • LP: Poems and Songs of Middle-Earth. 1968, (Tolkien reads some of his poems, among others).
  • LPs: The Hobbit. and The Lord of the Rings. posthumously 1975 (Tolkien reads excerpts from his works).
  • Photo book: Pictures by J. R. R. Tolkien. posthumously 1979 (collection of Tolkien's drawings).
  • Letters: Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien. posthumously 1981.
  • A Secret Vice , a lecture on invented languages, posthumously 2016, ISBN 978-0-00-813139-5 .

See also

motion pictures

  • Tolkien (film) from 2019. The biography shows the writer JRR Tolkien as a student and in other formative times in his life.


  • Katharina Baier: Tolkien, John Ronald Ruel. In: Albrecht Classen (Ed.): Handbook of Medieval Studies. Terms, methods, trends. Volume 3. de Gruyter, Berlin / New York 2010, ISBN 978-3-11-018409-9 , pp. 2679–2684 ( fee required from de Gruyter).
  • Marcel Bülles, Thomas Fornet-Ponse, Thomas Honegger, Rainer Nagel, Alexandra Velten, Frank Weinreich (eds.): Hither Shore - Interdisciplinary Journal on Modern Fantasy Literature. Yearbook of the German Tolkien Society. Scriptorium Oxoniae, Düsseldorf 2004 ff., ISBN 3-00-015786-7 ; ISBN 3-9810612-0-9 ; ISBN 978-3-9810612-1-5 .
  • Humphrey Carpenter : J. R. R. Tolkien. A biography. German by Wolfgang Krege . Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2001, ISBN 3-608-93431-6 .
  • Robert Foster : The Great Middle-earth Lexicon. An Alphabetical Guide to the Fantasy World by J. R. R. Tolkien. From the American by Helmut W. Pesch. Bastei-Lübbe, Bergisch Gladbach 2002, ISBN 978-3-404-20453-3 .
  • John Garth: Tolkien and the Great War. The Threshold of Middle-Earth. Houghton Mifflin, Boston 2003, 2005, ISBN 0-618-33129-8 , ISBN 0-618-57481-6 . (Pocket size)
  • Fabian Geier: J. R. R. Tolkien. Rowohlt Taschenbuch Verlag, Reinbek near Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-499-50664-2 .
  • Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull: J. R. R. Tolkien. The artist. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-608-93409-X .
  • Thomas Honegger, Andrew James Johnston, Friedhelm Schneidewind, Frank Weinreich: A grammar of ethics. The topicality of the moral dimension in J. R. R. Tolkien's literary work. Verlag der Villa Fledermaus, Saarbrücken 2005, ISBN 978-3-932683-11-4 .
  • Albert Meier: 1st place. J. R. R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings. In: Christoph Jürgensen (Ed.): The Germans' Favorite Books. Verlag Ludwig, Kiel 2006, ISBN 3-937719-34-2 , pp. 362-377.
  • Helmut W. Pesch (ed.): J. R. R. Tolkien, the myth creator. Corian-Verlag Meitingen, 1984, ISBN 3-89048-205-8 .
  • Friedhelm Schneidewind: The great Tolkien Lexicon. Lexikon-Imprint-Verlag, Berlin 2002, ISBN 3-89602-298-9 .
  • Christina Scull, Wayne G. Hammond: The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion & Guide. Volume 1: Chronology. HarperCollins, London 2006, ISBN 0-261-10381-4 .
  • Christina Scull, Wayne G. Hammond: The J. R. R. Tolkien Companion & Guide. Volume 2: Reader's Guide. HarperCollins, London 2006, ISBN 0-00-714918-2 .
  • Tom A. Shippey : J. R. R. Tolkien. Author of the Century. German by Wolfgang Krege. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2002, ISBN 3-608-93432-4 .
  • Tom A. Shippey: The Road to Middle-earth. German by Helmut W. Pesch. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2008, ISBN 978-3-608-93601-8 (English: The Road to Middle-earth ).
  • Catherine McIllwaine: Tolkien - Creator of Middle Earth German by Helmut W. Pesch. Klett-Cotta, Stuttgart 2019, ISBN 978-3-608-96402-8

Web links

Commons : J. R. R. Tolkien  - album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Nigel Cawthorne: A Brief Guide to JRR Tolkien: A comprehensive introduction to the author of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings . Little, Brown Book Group, Hachette UK 2012, ISBN 978-1-78033-860-6 ( books.google.de ).
  2. Tolkien: Ash nazg gimbatul . In: Der Spiegel . tape 35 , August 25, 1969 ( spiegel.de ).
  3. Humphrey Carpenter, Christopher Tolkien (Eds.): The Letters of JRR Tolkien . 1981, ISBN 0-04-826005-3 , letter 165 to Houghton Mifflin Co. [1955], letter 324 to Graham Tayar [1971] (English).
  4. A detailed account of Tolkien's religious biography (English) is available on the website of the Oratorian Parish Birmingham , to which the family had a special relationship.
  5. ^ JRR Tolkien, EV Gordon .: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight . Clarendon Press, Oxford 1925, OCLC 786126818 (edition).
  6. Michael DC Drout: JRR Tolkien Encyclopedia. Scholarship and Critical Assessment . Taylor & Francis, New York 2007, ISBN 978-0-415-96942-0 , pp. 351 ( books.google.de ).
  7. Betsy Wollheim: The Family Trade. In: Locus . June 2006 ( excerpt from the interview ).
  8. Marco Frenschkowski : The secret societies. A cultural and historical analysis. Marixverlag, Wiesbaden 2007, p. 28.
  9. ^ JRR Tolkien in the Find a Grave database . Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  10. science fiction awards database - JRR Tolkien. Retrieved November 24, 2017 .
  11. ^ Lutz D. Schmadel : Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . Ed .: Lutz D. Schmadel. 5th edition. Springer Verlag, Berlin / Heidelberg 2003, ISBN 978-3-540-29925-7 , p. 186 (English, 992 pp., Link.springer.com [accessed September 4, 2019] Original title: Dictionary of Minor Planet Names . First edition: 1992): “1982 GB. Discovered 1982 Apr. 14 by M. Watt at Anderson Mesa. "
  12. JR R Tolkien: The lay of Aotrou and Itroun . In: Welsh review . No. 4 December 1945, OCLC 824752530 , p. 254-266 ( ae-lib.org.ua ).
This article was added to the list of excellent articles on April 19, 2004 in this version .