My Favourite Writer, My Favourite Book


The author of the famous book The Lord of the Rings was born in 1892 in South Africa. After his father’s death the family moved to England. And Tolkien grew up in a village near Birmingham. When his mother died Tolkien was sent to live in boarding homes, with a Catholic priest. He met another orphan, Edith Bratt, and fell in love. They got married in  1916.

He took part in the First World War. Then he became a professor of English at Oxford University.

Tolkien hated technology, he never had a refrigerator, he never had a TV, he refused to buy an electric iron, although he bought cars for his children and grandchildren. He loved ancient

myths, and for his books he borrowed characters from European mythology. He created his own world inhabited by wizards, elves, dwarves, goblins and certainly hobbits.

Hobbits are Tolkien’s own invention. The word is a combination of Homo (man) and rabbit. Hobbits are rather short (about 1 metre) creatures with furry legs. They are peaceful, home­loving race, fond of their gardens and their cosy underground homes. They don’t like adventures, but the main character of The Hobbit, Bilbo Baggins is forced to take part in a long and dangerous journey full of risk and extraordinary adventures. In The Lord of the Rings Bilbo’s nephew, Frodo Baggins, is given a dangerous task. He must destroy the magic ring which gives its owner great power.

The book was an immediate success. Tolkien’s magic world caught reader’s imagination. For almost fifty years people are not only reading his books — many try to live in his world. Tolkien sold the film rights to The Lord of the Rings in 1969, but he didn’t believe that a film would ever be made. But he was wrong. It took filmmakers 50 years to bring the book to a big screen.

The Lord of the Rings was published in 1954. The book took 11 years to write. Sometimes it is called the greatest book of the 20th century and Tolkien is called one of the greatest writers of the 20th century.

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