J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the most influential fantasy writers of all time. He has been referred to as the “father” of modern fantasy literature. Tolkien was an English writer, poet, philologist, and a professor at Oxford University. He has written The Hobbit, The Silmarillion, the famous Lord of the Rings trilogy, and more. The Lord of the Rings has inspired literature, artwork, music, film, videogames, and television. In The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Tolkien suggests that the ends do not justify the means.
J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3rd 1892, the child of Arthur and Mabel Tolkien. Arthur Reuel Tolkien was 31 years old when he proposed to 18 year old Mabel Suffield. She gladly accepted, but her father was not too happy. He thought Mabel was too young to be married, so the wedding was put off for a few years. In 1891, the two finally got married. Mabel’s father was not pleased, he didn’t think the Tolkien family was good enough for the respectable Suffield family, but he gave the couple his blessing.
Arthur’s banking business in England was not doing well, so he decided to move to the city Bloemfontein, South Africa because it would be more profitable. Mabel wasn’t too thrilled about the move. In a letter to her family she called Bloemfontein a "Owlin' Wilderness! Horrid Waste!" (Doughan). They would end up staying there for a while.
Arthur Tolkien wrote the following to his mother on January 4th, 1892: My dear Mother,
I have good news for you this week. Mabel gave me a beautiful little son last night (3 January). It was rather before time, but the baby is strong and well and Mabel has come through wonderfully. The baby is (of course) lovely. It has beautiful hands and ears (very long fingers), very light hair, 'Tolkien' eyes and very distinctly a 'Suffield' mouth. In general effect immensely like a very fair edition of its Aunt Mabel Mitton. When we first reached Dr Stollreither yesterday he said it was a false alarm and told the nurse to go home for a fortnight but he was mistaken and I fetched him again about eight and then he stayed till 12.40 when we had a whiskey to drink luck to the boy. The boy's first name will be 'John' after its grandfather, probably John Ronald Reuel altogether. Mab wants to call it Ronald and I want to keep up John and Reuel… “J.R.R. Tolkien :: Biography”
So, J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3rd. Even though his first name was John, nearly everyone called him Ronald. South Africa could be a challenging place for a young boy to grow up. When Ronald was very young, he was bitten by a tarantula. Later on, giant spiders appeared in his writings (Tolkien, J.R.R. - Fun Facts and Information).
Mabel still hated living in South Africa. The Tolkien family planned a trip to go back to England, but Ronald’s brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel was born, so they stayed in South Africa for a while. Once they planned to go back to England again, Arthur got ill and said he would meet the rest of the family when he got better. Around Christmas time, the Tolkiens heard that Arthur had contracted rheumatic fever and he would have to stay in South Africa even longer. On February 14th, 1896, Arthur suffered a severe hemorrhage, and died the next day.
Mabel decided to move with the two boys to a cheap cottage in Sarehole, and home school them until they were old enough to attend King Edward‘s school. Tolkien learned how to read when he was 4 years old, and soon he learned to write very well. He loved learning languages. Since he loved anything having to do with words, his mother gave him loads of books to read. His favorites were Red Indian books, Arthurian legends, George MacDonald's 'Curdie' books, and the Red Fairy Book. When Tolkien was young, the little money being sent from Mabel’s father stopped because the family switched to Roman Catholicism.
Tolkien was accepted at King...