In addition to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's published fiction includes The Silmarillion and other posthumously published books about what he called a legendarium, a fictional mythology of the remote past of Earth, called Arda, and Middle-earth (from middangeard, the lands inhabitable by Men) in particular. Most of these works were compiled from Tolkien's notes by his son Christopher Tolkien. The enduring popularity and influence of Tolkien's works have established him as the "father of the modern high fantasy genre". Tolkien's other published fiction includes adaptations of stories originally told to his children and not directly related to the legendarium.
The Tolkien family
As far as is known, most of Tolkien's paternal ancestors were craftsmen. The Tolkien family had its roots in Saxony (Germany), but had been living in England since the eighteenth century, becoming "quickly and intensely English (not British)".  The surname Tolkien is Anglicized from Tollkiehn (i.e. German tollkühn, "foolhardy", the etymological English translation would be dull-keen, a literal translation of oxymoron). The surname Rashbold of two characters in The Notion Club Papers is a pun on this.
Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892, in Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State (now Free State), South Africa, to Arthur Reuel Tolkien (18571896), an English bank manager, and his wife Mabel, née Suffield (18701904). Tolkien had one sibling, his younger brother, Hilary... [continues]
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