“What day is it?”
A stranger checks their phone. “It’s, er… it’s March 25.”
“That’s right! Today’s the day when the One Ring was finally destroyed, completing Frodo’s quest to defeat Sauron.”
It’s Tolkien Reading Day! 📖
Born in 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien lived quite a life before he wrote The Hobbit. He and his brother were orphaned and a priest, by the name of Father Francis Morgan, took care of them, making sure they got an education. Tolkien learned Latin and Greek, and made up languages of his own, just for fun.
Around age 16, he met Edith Bratt. They were friends at first, but it grew into something more. Father Francis did not approve. He forbade Tolkien from seeing or corresponding with Edith for 3 years. Tolkien obeyed, but he never stopped loving her. He wrote her a letter in 1911, declaring his love. She wrote him back, letting him know that, well… she was engaged, but his letter had changed everything. She agreed to meet, and a week later, she’d left her fiancé and was engaged to Tolkien. They were married in 1916. They loved each other until the end.
He fought in World War I. He became horribly ill and was sent home, and all but one of his friends died in the war. The loss of his friends was devastating, and his illness came and went for years.
He later became a professor at Oxford University. One day, while Tolkien was in the middle of the “soul-destroying” task of grading papers, he wrote, “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
He didn’t know what a hobbit was, nor why it lived in a hole. He decided he needed to find out. From this, The Hobbit was written, told to his kids, and later published.
The greatest inspiration for stories comes from the life you live. It comes from the emotions you’ve felt, experiences you’ve had, and the wisdom you’ve learned. Woven into Tolkien’s tales is the pure companionship of friends, the devastation of loss and of war, and the deepest love—not to mention unique languages that bring a whole new level of life to his stories. His writings changed fantasy and storytelling, inspiring people for generations and throughout the world.
It’s never too late to start your story!