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J. R. R. Tolkien: Architect of Middle Earth: A Biography

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J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the most beloved and enigmatic writers of the twentieth century, yet surprisingly little is known about the personal life of the author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. After a traumatic childhood, Tolkien experienced the bloody trenches of World War I, then lived most of his life as an Oxford scholar in a cloistered academic community. In this fascinating illustrated biography, author Daniel Grotta examines how much of Tolkien's personal experience fired his incredible imagination ...

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NEW - John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892-1973) author of The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy, is one of the twentieth century's most beloved and enigmatic writers. His ... highly unusual, imaginative works have sold millions of copies and delighted readers of all ages. And yet, surprisingly little is known about the personal life of the creator of Middle Earth. This man, who was embarrassed by success, lived most of his life as an Oxford scholar in the surrounds of a cloistered academic community. As a child in South Africa, Tolkien was kidnapped by a native and taken into the bush. As a youngster in the industrial city of Birmingham, England, Tolkien was raised by a Catholic priest. As a young adult, Tolkien lived through the bloody horror of the trenches of WW I. How these experiences shaped his imagination is just one of the areas that Daniel Grotta tries to uncover. 197 pages including an index and an epilogue, which is fascinating. The subject is The Silmarillion, which was published posthumously in 1977, after his son, Christopher, worked on it for years. 8vo - over 7?" - 9?" tall. Read more Show Less

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Overview

J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the most beloved and enigmatic writers of the twentieth century, yet surprisingly little is known about the personal life of the author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. After a traumatic childhood, Tolkien experienced the bloody trenches of World War I, then lived most of his life as an Oxford scholar in a cloistered academic community. In this fascinating illustrated biography, author Daniel Grotta examines how much of Tolkien's personal experience fired his incredible imagination and led to the creation of Middle-earth and its inhabitants.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
With the feature film version of The Two Towers making Star Wars-size box office bucks, anything related to Tolkien is as hot as the Crack of Doom. While Humphrey Carpenter's portrait of the writer is still considered the standard, readers not requiring as much detail would find this 1992 volume more suitable. This release also features gorgeous cover art by the Brothers Hildebrandt. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
From Barnes & Noble
One of this century's most beloved and enigmatic writers, J.R.R. Tolkien lived most of his life in a cloistered academic community, politely protesting that his elaborate, highly imaginative stories had no "inner meanings," and somewhat embarrassed by both the success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings and the cult that grew around them. This biography illuminates the secret corners of Tolkien's life, showing how his traumatic childhood and his experiences in the trenches during WWI helped to fuel the fertile imagination that created such wondrous tales. 9" x 10". Color illus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762413379
  • Publisher: Running Press Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/28/2002
  • Pages: 200
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Daniel Grotta is a journalist and critic living in Pennsylvania.

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  • Posted March 13, 2012

    J R. R. Tolkien: Architect of the Middle Earth was a well-writte

    J R. R. Tolkien: Architect of the Middle Earth was a well-written biography by Daniel Grotta-Kurska. It was published in 1976. It describes the life and incidences of J R. R. Tolkien’s from when he first started writing until his death. It even takes you through the hardships of when he did not succeed in rewriting The Silmarillion. You also get to learn about Tolkien’s writing of The Lord of the Rings. J R. R. Tolkien: Architect of the Middle Earth also reflects on Tolkien as an English professor.
    Daniel Grotta-Kurska wanted to show how much Tolkien’s writing was inspired by his personal life. In fact, Tolkien considered himself a hobbit, just like the ones in The Lord of the Rings. Grotta-Kurska wants people to see the real side of Tolkien: how he acts, how he dresses, what he is inspired by, and much more. Grotta-Kurska always had an interest in The Lord of the Rings series and was fascinated by J. R. R. Tolkien. This plays an important role as to why Grotta-Kurska wrote this autobiography. Grotta-Kurska is very interested in reality and fantasy. He wrote this biography is third-person. He wanted people to understand Tolkien’s motives and reason behind the works he created. He also wanted them to understand what a great person Tolkien was. The intended audience for this book would be fans of J. R. R. Tolkien and The Lord of the Rings. Grotta-Kurska’s style is more informal than formal. He uses a lot of formal writing in his biography but tends to lean toward informal. He uses more relaxed writing when talking about Tolkien. Grotta-Kurska’s biography suited his intended audience. He is very clear and forceful in his writing. His biography also flows very well together. The author’s main ideas in this biography were organized chronologically. It started from J. R. R. Tolkien’s birth to his death in that order.
    The book had an effect on me. I thought it was a well-written, interesting biography. Tolkien lived a great life. I never thought I was bored while reading this biography. I never really liked The Lord of the Rings very much so I expected to not be interested by my opinion changed right away. Tolkien lived a very different life than most Americans so it is hard to relate to him. I can say, though, that he is inspiring and a very hard-working man. I would recommend this biography to any The Lord of the Rings fans. I think he would intrigue them and his writing would be clearer.
    I thought it was interesting to learn about Tolkien’s childhood. It was also interesting to know how Tolkien’ personal life affected many of his books. It goes to show that even fiction novels are influenced by reality. They are all not made up in the mind. All in all, I thought J R. R. Tolkien: Architect of the Middle Earth was a fascinating biography that should be read.

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