J.R.R. Tolkien

A picture of the author J.R.R. Tolkien

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, best known as J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973), is a legendary British author and scholar who reinvigorated the high fantasy genre with The Hobbit (1937), followed by its sequel, an epic trilogy about the universe of Middle-Earth, The Lord of the Rings (written between 1937-1949). It consisted of three books: The Fellowship of the Rings (1954), The Two Towers (1954), and The Return of the King (1955). Tolkien's works achieved high acclaim, selling over 150 million copies, and have been adapted into popular movie adaptations, sustaining popularity across multiple generations worldwide.

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
     -- The Fellowship of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, 1937J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, 1954

Tolkien, considered the paramount creator of high fantasy literature, was an Oxford scholar who taught literature and published glossaries of Middle English, including A Middle English Vocabulary (1922). He was friends with C.S. Lewis, they participated in a literary club supporting fantasy writers, called Inklings.

Though Tolkien's most famous novels are not available in the public domain, we offer a middle-earth-worthy poem we were delighted to find, titled Goblin Feet, which we hope you enjoy reading. We mention his work in our Science Fiction Study Guide.

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