John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, CBE (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.
He served as the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon and Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford, from 1925 to 1945 and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature and Fellow of Merton College, Oxford from 1945 to 1959. He was at one time a close friend of C. S. Lewis—they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.
After his father’s death, Tolkien’s son Christopher published a series of works based on his father’s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages, and literary essays about a fantasy world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955, Tolkien applied the term legendarium to the larger part of these writings. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the “father” of modern fantasy literature—or, more precisely, of high fantasy.
In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.Forbes ranked him the 5th top-earning “dead celebrity” in 2009.
Crooked Cat says,
Tim ‘T.E.’ Taylor was born in Stoke-on-Trent in 1960 and now lives in Meltham, near Huddersfield, with his wife Rosa and daughter Helen.
He studied Classics at Pembroke College, Oxford, and some years later did a PhD in Philosophy at Birkbeck, University of London. He spent a number of years in the civil service, where he did a wide range of jobs, before leaving in 2011 to spend more time writing. He now divides his time between creative writing, academic research (he has published a book, Knowing What is Good for You, on the philosophy of well-being), and part-time teaching and other work for Leeds and Huddersfield Universities.
As well as fiction, Tim writes poetry, which he often performs on local radio and at open mic nights (where he also plays the guitar). He is chairperson of Holmfirth Writers’ Group and a member of Colne Valley Writers’ Group. He also likes walking up hills.
Tim says, “Tolkien, a Professor of Anglo-Saxon, was a Fellow of Pembroke College, Oxford University from 1925 to 1945. I was an undergraduate at the same College from 1979 to 1983, studying Classics and ‘Greats’ (Philosophy and Ancient History). At the age of 11, I was captivated by The Lord of the Rings to an extent that has never quite been equalled by any of the numerous books I have read and loved since then. I have not tried consciously to emulate Tolkien and have never written fantasy fiction. Nevertheless, I continue to admire Tolkien’s work and recognise that I may have been influenced by some aspects of it in my own writing – such as its epic quality and the rich detail through which Tolkien brings his imagined world to life, with lovingly crafted layers of history, language and culture.”