Books on JRR Tolkien's Life (autobiography)

Discussion in 'J.R.R. Tolkien : The Creator of Middle-earth' started by Prince Ashitaka, Feb 2, 2018.

  1. Prince Ashitaka

    Prince Ashitaka Member

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    Hello, Middle-Earth peeps - newbie on here.

    Being a fan of Tolkien (I'm sure everyone here is) I'd like to learn and study the man a lot more. I'd like to know about his early life, where he studied, upbringing and when and how he started his writing. Ideally, see the progressing of his writing and the journey to getting it published. Any interviews would be great.

    I know there are quite a few Tolkien biography books out there. Some are out of print or difficult to get hold of. Can you recommend any good books on Tolkien?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Erestor Arcamen

    Erestor Arcamen Archivist Staff Member

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    This one by Humphrey Carpenter is the official/authorized one. I've read it and it's very good.

     

  3. Prince Ashitaka

    Prince Ashitaka Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation I think I'll grab a copy of that!

    Have you read 'The Road to Middle-Earth' do you think this would be a good guide to Tolkien?
     
  4. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    I haven't read The Road To Middle-Earth but I hear (!) it's generally not that great regarding accuracy. Edit: my mistake -- see below

    Anyway I'd start with Carpenter, as already suggested...

    ... then if you really want to go wild, start digging into any books written by Hammond and Scull. They have written, for examples, a book on Tolkien as an illustrator, and a notably thick tome called "Chronology" (part of a two volume guide to JRRT and his works) concerning Tolkien's life that, honestly, made me go... wow... how did they dig up that much!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2018
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  5. Prince Ashitaka

    Prince Ashitaka Member

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    That's disappointing to hear. Because the symopsis sounded really good.

    I heard of the Hammond and Scull books but they are quite expensive if only they had an affordable version.
     
  6. Galin

    Galin Registered User

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    Ooops! The Road To Middle-Earth... that's Tom Shippey's book. I have it, and recommend it!

    :)

    I was thinking (wrongly) about J.R.R. Tolkien Architect of Middle Earth by Daniel Grotta.
    To be fair, I shouldn't say anything about Grotta's work if I haven't read it, but as I already did say something... well, again, this is the one that I hear could be more accurate.

    Sorry!
     
  7. Prince Ashitaka

    Prince Ashitaka Member

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    Ah brilliantly! That's good to hear because The Road to Middle-Earth sounds really good.

    I'll definitely look at getting both books

    :)
     
  8. Starbrow

    Starbrow Tolkien Fan

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    I just finished the book A Hobbit, A Wardrobe, and a Great War by Joseph Loconte that I got for Christmas. It discusses how World War I influenced the writings of Tolkien and C. S. Lewis. It gave me a greater appreciation of Tolkien's books.
     
  9. Prince Ashitaka

    Prince Ashitaka Member

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    I never heard of this book. That's interesting to know I'll have to pick this up.

    Just noticed this book is out of print. Will have to try and source this from somewhere
     
  10. 1stvermont

    1stvermont New Member

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    As a poster said carpenter is a great start.

    https://www.amazon.com/J-R-R-Tolkien-Biography-Humphrey-Carpenter/dp/0618057021/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519003048&sr=8-1&keywords=carpenter bio of tolkien


    I would add his bio on the inklings as well

    https://www.amazon.com/Inklings-Humphrey-Carpenter/dp/0007748698/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1519003118&sr=1-1&keywords=the inklings

    and maybe most important, Tolkiens letters.

    https://www.amazon.com/Letters-J-R-...rd_wg=Q5C13&psc=1&refRID=TATTD5T6S3PE5EV803EQ



    you want to know and meet tolkien, these 3 books will do that.
     
  11. Prince Ashitaka

    Prince Ashitaka Member

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    Perfect! Thanks, these are just what I need. Will save up and get these books.
     

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