J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
The original authorised biography, and the only one written by an author who actually met J. R. R. Tolkien.
In the 25 years since Tolkien’s death in September 1973, millions have read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and become fascinated about the very private man behind the books.
Born in Bloemfontein in January 1892, John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was orphaned in childhood, brought up in near poverty and almost thwarted in adolescent romance. He served in the First World War, surviving the Battle of the Somme, where he lost some of his closest friends, and returned to academic life, achieving high repute as a scholar and university teacher, eventually becoming Merton Professor of English at Oxford.
Then suddenly his life changed dramatically. One day while marking essay papers he found himself writing 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit' - and worldwide renown awaited him.
Humphrey Carpenter was given unrestricted access to all Tolkien’s papers and interviewed his friends and family. From these sources he follows the long and painful process of creation that produced The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and offers a wealth of information about the life and work of the 20th century's most cherished author.
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|Listening Length||11 hours and 31 minutes|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com.au Release Date||19 July 2018|
|Publisher||HarperCollins Publishers Limited|
|Best Sellers Rank|| 30,551 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
99 in Biographies of Authors (Audible Books & Originals)
164 in Historical Biographies (Audible Books & Originals)
327 in Biographies of Authors (Books)
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It’s great to see that Carpenter doesn’t shy away from the truth and paints Tolkien as a highly intelligent, if not, slightly eccentric man. It was inspiring to see how the creation of Middle Earth and its history/language was basically a lifelong work.
The book takes you quite swiftly through Tolkien’s childhood in Birmingham and South Africa, then touches on his time as a soldier in WW1, Oxford as a student and teacher, his writing struggles, philologist, to his lifelong marriage.
One thing I enjoyed reading about was his life as an English Professor, in which, Tolkien would often meet with his peer group to smoke and read aloud the Bard poems in Old Norse.
I mean, who doesn’t, right?
Among these peers was C.S. Lewis who, most famously, wrote the Narnia Books for children.
I was totally absorbed in this biography, thanks to Carpenter’s simple and engaging writing style. It has just the right amount of detail; some biographies tend to bang on and on for ages.
Extremely well written, researched and structured
If you're a middle earth fan, you'll get a lot out of this, if you're not you should be by the end of the book