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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Celebration of Middle Earth


Who is the man above? If the hint of languages didn't give you a clue, well, here is another one, he created Middle Earth.  AHA! Now you know who I am talking about, that was too easy wasn't it. 
JRR Tolkien was born today, 3 Jan 1892 in Bloemfontein, Orange Free State (now in South Africa).  He lived there for a short time before going with his mother and younger brother to England, and his father died in South Africa. 

In 1916, Tolkien married his childhood sweethert Edith Mary Bratt.  He then soon left for France for battle in WW1, but was home by the end of the year because of illness.  It was during his convalescence that he began to write, and he was taking the training of learning languages as a young lad into his writing. 
After he recovered, he became a junior editor for Oxford English Dictionary. 
In 1921, Tolkien was offered a post at the University of Leeds, which he accepted.  He also worked on a translation of a poem with the help of E.V. Gordon, on Middle Earth, called Sir Gawain and the Green Knight.
During the mid-1930’s he wrote a story to read to his children, drawing on his extensive knowledge of mythology and folk-tales, as well as his own created mythology, he created the story that would later become known as The Hobbit.  This was published in 1937. 
It took him another 15 years to finish the trilogy that followed. Tolkien loved words, ideas, and imagination.  This all fueled into a cult following that is still going strong 39 years after his death.
The movies that came out in 2001-2004, and the one coming this Fall (The Hobbit) are bringing a whole new generation into his world, and we welcome it.

Map of Middle Earth
I had never personally heard of the books or Tolkien until the first movie came out, but I fell in love with the story, the idea, and the imagination.  Frodo became a hero to us all, his buddy Samwise, was our right hand man.  Argorn was the man we all wanted to marry, and Legolas was the, well, yeah, we wanted him too, lol.
In these books and stories we met many people, heros and villians.  I think my favorite character(s) were Pippen and Merry.  They were fun, childlike, and reminded me of the Weasley Twins, lol.  There have been many comparisons between Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, but they are stories in their own rights.  True, they have similarities, but thats okay, there are alot of things in life that are alike.........


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