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Author Topic: Tolkien Biographical Materials
Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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I just found this site, which is a sort of online biography of Tolkien, with some interesting pictures.

Feel free to post more biographical pictures, text, links or whatever here. And of course, we can discuss aspects of Tolkien's life here as well. But first, some pretty pictures to get us started !

Here is a picture of Sarehole (a couple of miles outside Birmingham), as it was when Tolkien grew up there.  -

Here is an aerial view of Sarehole today, showing the mill in the foreground. Near the end of his life Tolkien left a sum of money to go towards the preservation of Sarehole Mill.

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Moseley Bog, near Sarehole, where the Tolkien brothers liked to play.
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Hob Lane, 6 miles east of Sarehole.
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Bilbo's garden, designed by David Fountain, Gold medal winner at Chelsea 2001 (seated here), and Kim Wilde, sponsored by Countryside Properties, for the Gardeners World Live exhibition, held at the NEC, near Meriden.
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A neighbor of the Tolkiens in Sarehole - Samson Gamgee.
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Edith Bratt.
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The Rollright Stones neolithic monument, which are in Warwickshire. According to Professor Shippey's Road to Middle Earth, when Tolkien refers to Standing Stones, Rollright is probably the place he was thinking of.  -

[ 06-07-2004, 08:34 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Raynor Unwin's 1936 "report" on The Hobbit: "It should appeal to all children between the ages of 5 and 9." []

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The farm where Tolkien's Aunt Jane lived, at Bag End in an unnamed Warwickshire village.  -

The cemetery stone, in Wolvercote Cemetery, Oxford.
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[ 06-04-2004, 10:48 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Nice idea. []

Here is a timeline of Tolkien's life.

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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From the site that Thorin linked, here is a letter from Tolkien's friend G. B. Smith, reporting the death of their mutual friend, Rob Gilson, in the horrific fighting at the Somme (WW I):
quote:
15th July 1916.

My dear John Ronald.

I saw in the paper this morning that Rob has been killed. I am safe but what does that matter? Do please stick to me, you and Christopher. I am very tired and most frightfully depressed at this worst news. Now one realises in despair what the T.C.B.S. really was.

O my dear John Ronald what ever are we going to do?

Yours ever.

G. B. S.

The T.C.B.S. was a club where Tolkien and his friends discussed literature; it stood for "Tea Club, Barrovian Society" (the club met at the tea room in a place named Barrows Stores).

[ 06-04-2004, 10:54 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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Roll of Honor Thorin
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That's heart-wrenching. []
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Aerel
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I know in the foreward of LotR Tolkien says that by 1918 all but one of his close friends were dead, but it didn't seem very real to me until I read that letter.
I don't really have anything to post, except a recommendation to anyone who is interested in Tolkien's life to read "The Tolkien Family Album" by John and Priscilla Tolkien, which has some lovely stories and photographs in it.

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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Did anyone (besides me) get the impression, reading between the lines of Carpenter, that Tolkien semi-malingered in hospital so as not to be sent back to the front? Not that he could be blamed for this.
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Roll of Honor Thorin
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Interesting question, and I've never heard that. But I have to confess that I haven't read Carpenter yet. []
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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I was reading the other day, in one of the Tolkien Wiki articles, which I can't find now, that "Tolkien acknowledged that Bilbo was based on him (JRRT)", or something to that effect.

Does anyone know where this statement can be found? I don't remember seeing it. Not that this is a surprising idea, since Bilbo is a poet, philologist, etc.

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Eluchil
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I don't remember having read that, but it sounds like something he would have said during an interview.
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Wetwang
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Mr T, are you thinking of the good professor's statement in Letter #213? []
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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quote:
I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible).

~ from Letter No. 213 to Deborah Webster 25 October 1958

I'm not sure if that's the passage that the article was referring to, since it doesn't directly mention Bilbo. But thanks. []
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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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JRRT died 41 years ago today.

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Mithrennaith
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A hundred years ago, day before yesterday, Tolkien first wrote about Middle-earth:

news item at the Tolkien Society’s website

Article at John Garth’s blog

John Garth’s article in The Guardian

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I am in too great doubt to rule. To prepare or to let be? To prepare for war, which is yet only guessed: train craftsmen and tillers in the midst of peace for bloodspilling and battle: put iron in the hands of greedy captains who will love only conquest, and count the slain as their glory? Will they say to Eru: At least your enemies were amongst them? Or to fold hands, while friends die unjustly: let men live in blind peace, until the ravisher is at the gate? What then will they do: match naked hands against iron and die in vain, or flee leaving the cries of women behind them? Will they say to Eru: At least I spilled no blood?
'When either way may lead to evil, of what worth is choice? Let the Valar rule under Eru!
- Tar Meneldur [UT 2 II:173-174]

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Roll of Honor Wandering Tuor
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I was just about to post this, Mithrennaith. Middle Earth was 100 years old 2 days ago.

John Garth (your second link) notes that "on the fake title page Tolkien drew for ‘The Notion Club Papers’ (Sauron Defeated 154), the date of publication is 2014."

[ 09-26-2014, 10:55 AM: Message edited by: Wandering Tuor ]

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