4 Interesting Facts About J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien is often called the “father” of modern fantasy, and his fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings are considered the golden standard of the genre. But while you might be well familiar with his works, there is a chance that you don’t know these interesting facts about the famous writer.

Tolkien Waited 5 Years to Be With the Women He Loved

Tolkien met his future wife, Edith, when he was 16. However, because she was older than him and of Protestant faith, Tolkien’s guardian didn’t allow him to see her until he turned 21. Tolkien waited for five years and then asked Edith to marry him in a letter sent on the eve of his 21st birthday. Edith accepted while breaking off the previous engagement.

Tolkien Could Speak 15 Languages

Tolkien had a keen interest in languages and could speak 15 languages, including Latin, German, French, Old English, and Old Norse. He also knew the basics of several other languages. Additionally, Tolkien famously constructed several languages for his literary worlds.

Tolkien Fought in World War I

After Britain entered World War I in 1914, a 22-year-old Tolkien decided not to volunteer for the army as many of his age did at the time. Despite facing a lot of criticism, Tolkien decided to first finish his studies and then joined the military ranks one year later. He spent significant time on the battlefield and took part in the Battle of the Somme.

Tolkien Considered Himself a Hobbit 

Finally, Tolkien would often say that he considers himself a hobbit, a member of a fictional race from his fantasy novels.

“I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humour (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much,” Tolkien stated on one occasion.

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