Thursday, July 21, 2011

J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne (Christian Encounters Series)

J.R.R. Tolkien was born in South Africa and raised in England. He lost both his parents as a child, his father when Tolkien was 3, and his mother when he was 12. Tolkien grew up loving being able to explore around his home in South Africa and the countryside in England. However, every time he had to move to a city or suburb, he felt imprisoned. This love for the countryside and his distain for the city and suburbs later translated to the settings in his writings with the Shire and Mordor. Even though he was poor, having lost his father at such a young age, his father’s family helped pay for his education for a time, and his grades got him scholarships. So he was able to attend one of the best schools in England, foster his love for languages that helped him eventually work as a don at Oxford. Tolkien’s love for languages and literature along with some of his childhood experiences, fostered the environment to write short stories and novels, the most famous of which are The Lord of The Rings series.
While, sadly, I have not read more than excerpts of Tolkien’s writings, this biography was a great look into Tolkien’s life and the influences that shaped his writing. I knew about Tolkien and his wife, as well as work and writings. I knew that Tolkien was a part of the Inklings along with C.S. Lewis and they had an influence on each other in their writings of Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings. But I learned so much more about Tolkien, his life and struggles, and how they influenced his writing! This is a great biography of J.R.R. Tolkien! I highly recommend it to anyone who is even remotely curious about Tolkien, especially since the release of The Lord of the Rings movies in recent years.
BookSneeze® has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of this review.

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