Modern History/J.R.R. Tolkien

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John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (January 3, 1892 – September 2, 1973) is best known as the author of The Hobbit and its sequel The Lord of the Rings. He was a professor of Anglo-Saxon language at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and of English language and literature, also at Oxford, from 1945 to 1959. He was a strongly committed Roman Catholic. Tolkien was a close friend of C. S. Lewis, with whom he shared membership in the literary discussion group the Inklings.

In addition to The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien's published fiction includes The Silmarillion and other posthumously published books about what he called a legendarium, a fictional mythology of the remote past of Earth, called Arda, and Middle-earth (from middangeard, the lands inhabitable by Men) in particular. Most of these works were compiled from Tolkien's notes by his son Christopher Tolkien.