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Tolkien's Legacy

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Have you ever been so lost in a book that the world on its pages seemed real? J.R .R. Tolkien was an author who inspired not only his readers but future generations of writers. His work included poetry, essays, and articles, as well as his well known, iconic novels (“Biography” 6). He created a fantasy realm called Middle Earth. His timeless works have inspired such cinematic masterpieces as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
Tolkien had a difficult childhood. John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on January 3 in the year 1892 of Mabel Suffield and Arthur Tolkien in Bleomfontein, South Africa (“Timeline” 1). He grew up with few memories of his birthplace, though the ones he did have were thought to influence his later writings …show more content…
One day, while grading papers, in a blank space he wrote, “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit”. A Hobbit was not something that existed at this time so he set out to decide what one was and why it lived in a hole (“Biography 5”). The answers he created to his own questions became a story he told his younger children. An incomplete copy fell into the hands of Susan Daghall, who worked for George Allen and Unwin Publishing (“Biography” 4). She begged Tolkien to finish the story. Once finished, Stanley Unwin read it to his ten-year-old son (“Biography” 4). The Hobbit was published in 1937 (“Timeline” 5). Its immediate success led Unwin to urge Tolkien to write a sequel which became The Lord of the …show more content…
It became too complicated to be a children’s story like The Hobbit had been. The hardback sales of The Lord of the Rings made so much money that Tolkien began to regret that he was still teaching and had not yet retired (“Biography” 6). In 1965, a pirated paperback version hit the market. The publicity from the copyright dispute made millions of American readers take notice (“Biography” 6). It was not the type of novel that they had seen before, but spoken to their current condition (“Biography” 6). According to The Tolkien Society, “By 1968, The Lord of the Rings became the Bible to ‘Alternative Society’” (“Biography” 6). Tolkien wasn’t sure how to feel about this development. While he was surprised and flattered and it made him very rich, he did not approve of those who insisted on reading his books while under the influence of LSD.
Tolkien retired from teaching in 1959 (“Timeline” 6). He continued publishing poetry, essays, and other articles until his death in 1977 (“Timeline” 7). His son, Christopher, published many of his father’s later works posthumous (“Biography” 7). The legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien lives on to this day.
His work continues to fuel wandering imaginations to this day. The brilliant mind of J.R.R. Tolkien has taken generations of youth on a journey of self-discovery. We have wandered through the pages wide-eyed and found ourselves in Middle Earth. Tolkien once said, “Not all those who wander are lost.” We are instead

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