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J.R.R. Tolkein: A Biography
J.R.R. Tolkein: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
26 posts | 19 read | 15 to read
In the 25 years since Tolkien's death in September 1973, millions have read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and become fascinated about the very private man behind the books. Born in Bloemfontein in January 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was orphaned in childhood, brought up in near-poverty and almost thwarted in adolescent romance. He served in the First World War, surviving the Battle of the Somme, where he lost some of his closest friends, and returned to academic life, achieving high repute as a scholar and university teacher, eventually becoming Merton Professor of English at Oxford. Then suddenly his life changed dramatically. One day while marking essay papers he found himself writing In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit - and worldwide renown awaited him.
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Librarybelle
J.R.R. Tolkein: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Don‘t #CountMeOut of this group, but I am not a Tolkien fan. I read The Hobbit years ago, and it was such a struggle. Lord of the Rings holds no fascination for me. I‘m glad there is a huge fan base, but he‘s just not for me. 🤷🏻‍♀️ #SoaringScores

Image of Tolkien from Wikipedia

Readswithcoffee You are not alone! I couldn‘t even make it halfway through The Hobbit. 1mo
Librarybelle @Readswithcoffee Thanks! I had to read The Hobbit for a class so definitely had to finish it. It‘s been years, but I just know it‘s not for me. 1mo
Cinfhen I‘m WITH you, too 👯‍♀️ 1mo
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Lcsmcat 🙋🏻‍♀️ me too. I much prefer C S Lewis. 1mo
Jaimelire I must have tried reading “The Hobbit” three times before I finally got into it. But then in my mid twenties I got hooked and ended up reading all the books and loving them. (edited) 1mo
CrowCAH Nice way to interpret your he theme for today. 1mo
Librarybelle @Jaimelire That‘s how I was with The Scarlet Letter. I couldn‘t stand it the first couple times I read it, but then I fell in love with it. 1mo
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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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On the intro of Faramir: ‘A new character has come on the scene (I am sure I did not invent him, I did not even want him, though I like him, but there he came walking into the woods of Ithilien): Faramir, the brother of Boromir‘

Sorry for so many quotes. I‘ve reached the part of his biography I find fascinating. He had many dry spells writing LOTR but the pressure was on when his youngest son went to war, so he often wrote him about the story.

MommyWantsToReadHerBook Isn't this just the most wonderful biography ever? Where is that part where he talks of LOTR taking him where he never thought he would go? 6mo
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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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On writing Lord of the Rings: “‘I wanted people simply to get inside this story and take it (in a sense) as actual history.‘”

TobeyTheScavengerMonk I loved reading about this stuff in The History of the Lord of the Rings books. After the Fellowship splits, if he wanted to add something to Sam and Frodo‘s story, he had to chart out how the added time would affect the other 2 groups and adjust their stories accordingly to match viewable constellations and the phases of the moon. 6mo
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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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On WWII: “I have in this War a burning private grudge against that ruddy little ignoramus Adolf Hitler for ruining, perverting, misapplying, and making for ever accursed, that noble northern spirit, a supreme contribution to Europe, which I have ever loved, and tried to present in its true light.”

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k.reads
J.R.R. Tolkein: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Movie recommendation: The new Tolkien movie was lovely! I had pretty low expectations going in, but it totally blew my socks off. With seeing!

ju.ca.no Good to know! I‘m planning on seeing it once it is released here :) 6mo
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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Tolkien and driving: “When accelerating headlong across a busy main road in Oxford in order to get into a side-street, he would ignore all other vehicles and cry ‘Charge ‘em and they scatter!‘–and scatter they did.” 🤣🤣

TobeyTheScavengerMonk That rascal. 6mo
Texreader @TobeyTheScavengerMonk Can‘t you just picture it? It‘s hilarious! 6mo
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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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The tagged book just took a turn to a style I find most irritating. The first third of the book describes Tolkien‘s life with awesome references to events in his life that work their way into Tolkien‘s stories. But then the author ventures into an imaginary day the author admits is pure conjecture and subsequently starts irritatingly analyzing Tolkien by his appearance in photos and now his manner of speaking. No wonder Tolkien hated biographies!

Severnmeadows I felt exactly the same! I thought Carpenter actually made Tolkien seem dull😊 if you have to resort to making up an average day you‘re not a very good biographer! 6mo
GingerAntics 🤦🏼‍♀️ 6mo
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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Tolkien‘s first story about a dragon. Can anyone explain why it isn‘t “a green great dragon”, but had to be “a great green dragon”?

umbrellagirl That quote comes from a book called The Elements of Eloquence: How to Turn the Perfect English Phrase. Adjectives, writes the author, professional stickler Mark Forsyth, “absolutely have to be in this order: opinion-size-age-shape-colour-origin-material-purpose Noun. So you can have a lovely little old rectangular green French silver whittling knife. But if you mess with that order in the slightest you‘ll sound like a maniac.” 6mo
Texreader @umbrellagirl Oh this is fantastic and hilarious! Love it! Thank you! 6mo
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umbrellagirl @Texreader you are most welcome! It‘s true though, we do it without really thinking about it. 6mo
mrsmarch @umbrellagirl My only problem with this example is “green French silver.” What is green French silver? Should it be “green-handled”? A lovely little old rectangular green-handled French silver knife? 6mo
Soubhiville I love this too @umbrellagirl ! It‘s so interesting that there is an order to adjectives, and many of us kind of instinctively know it by the time we‘re adults. Like you just say “little old German man” and not “old German little man” without having to even think about it. I think that‘s cool. 6mo
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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Tolkien‘s favorite childhood book, tagged in the comments below.

“But most of all he found delight in the Fairy Books of Andrew Lang, especially the Red Fairy Book, for tucked away in its closing pages was the best story he had ever read. This was the tale of Sigurd who slew the dragon Fafnir: a strange and powerful tale set in the nameless North.”

He disliked Hans Anderson‘s fairy tales and Treasure Island proffering “Red Indian” stories.

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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Since I bailed on my last ebook, this is up next! #letterj for #litsyatoz and I believe it will be something uplifting for #nonfiction2019

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Autumnscribe
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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This is one of the best written biographies I have ever encountered. It is well paced, doesn‘t present too many details, and gives scope without speculation. I only wish the recent film lived up to its source materials. While visually beautiful, it was a disjointed in its telling, altered the timeline of Tolkien‘s life, and left key elements of his life completely out. So, while I really wanted to like it, in the end it fell a bit short.

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Emily92Bibliophile
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Thanks to a couple Litsians, I found out about and bought the Tolkien Biography, and thus led to the History of the Hobbit !! 💚 was sad because I *thought* I was close to the end of my Journey Through Middle Earth with it being a couple chapters away from finishing the Silmarillion.... IT IS NOT SO!! #LeaveItToLitsy #ThanksLitsy

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Texreader
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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I‘ve been seeing this one reviewed a lot here on Litsy. Kindle version is on sale today for $2.99.

Emily92Bibliophile Just bought! Thank you 🙏🏻 💚🧙🏻‍♂️🧝🏽‍♂️🐉🍁 6mo
Texreader @Emily92Bibliophile Me too! You‘re welcome 6mo
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nu-bibliophile
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Just saw the preview for this. It's based on J.R.R. Tolkien's life story. Looks good !😯😯

BookwormAHN I can't waite to see it 💚 6mo
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BookishRedhead
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Pickpick

It's a book to treasure.
Interesting biography about an interesting man.

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bbackes
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Maybe the next 🐉

(Gift from @alessandrafn 💙)

alessandrafn Thank you, next. 11mo
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BookishRedhead
J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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🤷‍♂️ Whoops
Well.. Least I'm ready to start my next year reading challenge. Lord of the Rings trilogy first.

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KKimber
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Box for #tolkieniteswap is now en route to @heikemarie !

heikemarie Woohoo! Yours goes out next week!! 1y
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JazzFeathers
J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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#YearOfTolkien

Look! Look! This IS my ticket for the 'Tolkien Maker of Middle Earth' exibition! 😱😍😍😍😍😍

Still a month away, and l'm already going crazy.
Say, anybody in Oxford on 25th August? Or in London on 26th?

Daisey So awesome!! Jealous! 1y
JazzFeathers @Daisey l considered it for a long time, because flying to London isn't cheap. But then a friend of mine who lives in London told me she'll have a kid soon and l want to meet him/her. So you see, the universo conspired so that l'd go 😆 1y
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Moray_Reads
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Pickpick

Getting a little teary eyed over lunch finishing this biography. Carpenter writes Tolkien's life with fondness and a good balance between his academic and literary work and his everyday life. It's not the most analytical but gives a nice sense of Tolkien as man, academic and writer

JazzFeathers I read it years ago and really like it. But l hate reading biographies. The main character always dies at the end 😢 1y
Daisey I‘ve read/listed to a couple Tolkien biographies, but this one is still on my TBR list. 1y
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Moray_Reads
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Moray_Reads
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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saresmoore ♥️ 1y
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JazzFeathers
J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Starting to tiny up my second Tolkien shelf: books about Tolkien and his work.
Here are the biographies l own. Only read Carpenter's one so far. The one with the yellow sticker is a book from 1972, when Tolkien was still alive. I'm so curious to read that one.

#YearOfTolkien #Tolkien

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Sara_Planz
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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New ink - JRR Tolkien

LiteraryinLititz Congrats! 2y
callielafleur It looks great!! 😍 2y
readordierachel Fantastic! Looks amazing. 2y
Soubhiville Oh that‘s awesome! 2y
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JazzFeathers
J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Happy birthday, professor Tolkien 😊
#LotRChapterADay

rohit-sawant Great quote! And relatable 🤣 Reminds of something Neil Gaiman said about how you learn by finishing things. 2y
JazzFeathers @rohit-sawant True. I'll have to find thar Gaiman quote 😁 2y
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emmekamalei
J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography | Humphrey Carpenter
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Almost ashamed to admit I've never read this, but it's true. 😳 We have a copy in our house now, so I've really no excuse and have at last embarked. 🚢 Just in chapter 1, but I'm already so glad I've started! 🌳✨

#tolkien #tolkientribe #biography #confession #saturdayread

soulsfiredesigns It is such amazing biography 💕 2y
emmekamalei @soulsfiredesigns I'm a few chapters in and loving it! 2y
soulsfiredesigns Yay!!!! 2y
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