Full Name: John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Birthplace: Bloemfontein, South Africa

Birth Date: 3rd January, 1892

Date of Death: 2nd September, 1973

Marital Status: Married Edith Bratt on 22nd March, 1916





  • Even though his first name was John, he was almost always called Ronald

  • Met Edith, three years his senior, when he was sixteen

  • Created numerous school clubs, including T.C.B.S., the Apolausticks, and the Kolbítar

  • Broke his nose and cut his tongue playing rugby

  • Disliked Shakespeare with a passion

  • Enjoyed playing card games Bridge and Patience

  • Was a signals officer in his battalion during WWI

  • Worked on New English Dictionary entries U-Z

  • Another Tolkien-formed group, the Viking Club, translated nursery rhymes into Anglo-Saxon

  • Was bitten by a tarantula while in South Africa

  • Had four children with Edith; John (1917-2003), Michael (1920-1984), Christopher (1924-) and Priscilla (1929-)

  • His parents were Arthur Reuel Tolkien (died in 1896) and Mabel Suffield (died in 1904)

  • At age 27, he started writing his diary entries in his own alphabet

  • Enjoyed solving crossword puzzles and doodling Middle-earthian designs on them

  • By age 19, he was quite dedicated to smoking his pipe

  • His guardian banned him from seeing Edith until he had turned 21 (he was 18 when the ban was enacted)

  • Served part-time duty as air raid warden during WWII

  • Failed to win a scholarship to Oxford University in 1909, but succeeded the next year

  • Loathed allegory in all its forms, although ironically his story Leaf by Niggle is somewhat allegorical

  • His first car was a Morris Cowley nicknamed "Jo"

  • Had one sibling, Hilary Arthur Reuel

  • Thought his friend C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia was silly and immature

  • Always detested anything French, including the language and the cooking

  • The Hobbit's first line was written while Tolkien graded exam papers

  • Tolkien and his wife are buried in the same grave. Below his name on the tombstone is inscribed "Beren" and below Edith's name is inscribed "Lúthien," in honour of two characters from The Silmarillion

  • Played rugby all through his school years

  • Was a skilled artist, his own drawings were published in The Hobbit, and his calligraphy was always elegant and adorned

  • Converted C.S Lewis back to Christianity

  • Nicknames included Ronald, John Ronald, J.R.R.T., and Tollers

  • Christopher Tolkien's first wife, Faith, sculpted a bust of Tolkien, which Tolkien later had cast in bronze


    < <Back to Tolkien index