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"It is told among the wise that the First War began before Arda was full-shaped and ere yet there was anything that grow or walked upon Earth," began the Silmarillion (27), Tolkien's mythology of Middle Earth. J.R.R Tolkien captivated audiences with his tales of Middle Earth. Responsible for such works as The Lord of The Rings, The Hobbit, The Silmarillion (published posthumously), and more, Tolkien changed the genre of fantasy (World, D1). James Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, capital of the Orange Free State of South Africa, on January 3, 1892 to Arthur and Mabel Tolkien (Willett 11). His brother, Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien, was born two years later (Willett 13). Ronald, as his family called him, was sickened by the hot, dry climate of Africa (Willett 13). The family sailed back to England in April of 1895; Arthur stayed behind to work (Willett 14). Arthur, however, died of Rheumatic fever on February 15, 1896 (Willett 15). Mabel, left without an income, moved the family into a cottage in the countryside village of Sarehole. Here, Tolkien wrote his first story. "I first tried to write a story when I was about seven. It was about a dragon," wrote Tolkien, years later. When Ronald was old enough to go to school, the Tolkiens moved to Birmingham. Ronald began attending King Edward VI School (Willett 20). In Birmingham, Ronald was first introduced to the Welsh language that would later influence his works (Willett 22). Ronald met his mother's friend, Father Francis, the priest of the local church (Willett 22). (2) On November 14, 1904, Mabel Tolkien died of diabetes, then untreatable, at 34 (Willett 23). Mabel, afraid for the boys to be left with a Protestant relative, left instructions for Father Francis to adopt t... ... middle of paper ... ...tful. He and Edith settled down in Oxford and raised their children (Willett 59). He met and befriended C.S. Lewis, an influence on his work (Willett 59). A daughter, Priscilla, was born in 1929 (Willett 61). Tolkien wrote and published the hugely successful The Hobbit (Willett 63). The book was so popular, he was asked to write “another story about hobbits,” and so started on what would later become The Lord of the Rings (Willett 63, 66). By 1949, his tale was finished (Willett 74). Edith Tolkien died in 1971, and Ronald followed just two years later (Gale C1, C2). Christopher Tolkien went on to gather, edit, and publish many tales of Middle Earth after Ronald’s death (Gale C4). Tolkien’s love of language changed the way we look at the world, he was quoted as saying, “The stories were made… to provide a world for the languages rather than the reverse (Gale C3).”

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