Biography Essay on John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

4 pages
947 words
Type of paper: 
This essay has been submitted by a student.
This is not an example of the work written by our professional essay writers.


Born on January 3, 1892, in the big South African town of Bloemfontein, J.R.R Tolkien was a major scholar of the English language who specialized in both the old and the Middle English. Due to his good literary works, Tolkien is the father of the father of the English language (Carpenter, 3). He was born to Arthur Tolkien and Mabel Suffield Tolkien who were his biological parents. Although he was born in South Africa, his parents were English people who had moved from Saxony in the 18th century. His father, Arthur, was a bank clerk who migrated to South Africa in the 1890s so that he could be promoted. The memories that JRR had in South Africa were important for his writing. Specifically, his scary encounter with a spider, which was not only large but also hairy, was a major influence on his writing. However, when his father died on the 15th day of February 1936, he, his mother, and younger brother- who was known as Hillary went back to England and settled in West Midlands. Later on, they moved to the largely Catholic neighborhood of Edgbaston in Birmingham. In this regard, they were warmly received in the Roman Catholic Church and remained Roman Catholics until their demise.

Trust banner

If this sample essay on"Biography Essay on John Ronald Reuel Tolkien" doesn’t help,
our writers will!

Facts on JRR Tolkien Early Life

Although they lived in the pleasant suburb of Edgbaston, J.R.R Tolkien generally lived a life of poverty. This became even worse in 1904 when his mother, Mabel Tolkien, was diagnosed with diabetes. In those days, diabetes was a very serious disease, which was even fatal. In November of 1904, his mother died leaving J.R.R Tolkien and his young brother orphaned. However, the priest in charge of the local Catholic Church took over J.R.R and his brother and ensured that they were materially and spiritually taken care of. At this age, the linguistic prowess of J.R.R Tolkien had become evident. Specifically, his mastery of the Greek and Latin languages amazed everyone around him. Additionally, he had also started learning other languages. Notably, Tolkien was having fun by learning Gothic and later Finnish (The Tolkien Society, 1). Additionally, he had made a couple of friends at King Edwards where they met regularly after school hours. During these meetings, they used to criticize each other’s literary works until 1916.

Personal Life of JRR Tolkien

In the following years, Tolkien had a personal relationship with a woman known as Edith. However, at this time, he was only 16 and Edith was 19 years of age. The father in charge forbids this relationship until Tolkien turned 21. Surprisingly, he obeyed those orders and went to Exeter College, Oxford in 1911. While in college, Tolkien specialized in classics, old English, German languages, and Finnish. In 1913, he resumed his relationship with Edith. He later graduated with a second-class degree in Honor Moderations. As a result, he changed his specialization from classics to a general English language and literature. He wrote the amazing poem entitled Crist of Cynewulf.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien: Lancashire Fusilliers

After obtaining a first-class degree in June 1915, Tolkien enlisted as a lieutenant in the Lancashire Fusiliers and served in World War I where he was sent on a mission to the Western Front. Unfortunately, after a mere four months of service, he succumbed to fever and was eventually sent back to England at a hospital in Birmingham. He, however, recovered and stayed with his wife in Great Haywood in Staffordshire. When his old friend was killed, he began writing the Book of Lost Tales, which was published later after his demise. In this book are several recorded versions of the wars against Morgoth, the siege and fall of Gondolin and Nargothrond, and the tales of Turin and of Beren and Luthien. In 1918, he was appointed as the Assistant Lexicographer of the Oxford English Dictionary. However, he did not stay there for long as he applied and was appointed as the associate professor o English language at the University of Leeds.

When Did JRR Tolkien Start Writing Books?

He returned to Oxford University as a professor where he gave an influential lecture on Beowulf, the Monsters, and the Critics. He also taught undergraduates about administration and academic politics. A section of letters that he wrote to his daughter Priscilla was published as The Father Christmas Letters in the Santa Claus memoirs (The Tolkien Society, 1). While in Oxford, he and his friends established the linking is of the Anglo-Saxon. He notably published Mr. Bliss, Roverandom, In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit, among other literary works. In 1937, he famously published The Hobbit, which was very successful. Additionally, between 1954 and 1955 he published The Lord of the Rings. This book was very different from The Hobbit in terms of its scope and dimension. Apart from those, he also published other pieces of work, which are revered up to date. Unfortunately, the pace of his publications was slowed down by his death in 1973 when he was 81 years old. However, more books and memoirs were published even after his death. Indeed, today, Tolkien is referred to as the father of the English language due to the contributions that he made in the development of the language.

Works Cited

Biography Online, "Brief Biography Of J.R.R Tolkien ". N.p., 2016. Web. 17 Feb. 2016. Available at:,. N.p., 2016. Web. 17 Feb. 2016. Available at:

Carpenter, Humphrey. JRR Tolkien: a biography. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.

The Tolkien Society, "Biography". N.p., 2014. Web. 17 Feb. 2016. Available at:

Tolkien, Christopher. The hobbit. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012.

Tolkien, John Ronald Reuel. The letters of JRR Tolkien. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.

If you want discreet, top-grade help, order a custom paper from our experts.

If you are the original author of this essay and no longer wish to have it published on the SuperbGrade website, please click below to request its removal: