John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on the 3rd January, 1892 at Bloemfontein in the Orange Free State, but at the age of four he and his brother were taken back to England by their mother. After his father’s death the family moved to Sarehole, on the south-eastern edge of Birmingham. Tolkien spent a happy childhood in the countryside and his sensibility to the rural landscape can clearly be seen in his writing and his pictures.
Verlyn Flieger is a Professor of English at the University of Maryland and is a specialist in comparative mythology with a concentration in J.R.R. Tolkien. She teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Celtic, Arthurian, Hindu, Native American, and Norse myth.
Pauline Bayne’s work on the Chronicles spans almost fifty years.