Wednesday, January 9, 2013

J. R. R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend



Title:  J. R. R. Tolkien:  The Making of a Legend

Author:  Colin Duriez                                                                                                                       
Pages:  192
Year:  2012
Publisher:  Lion
This book is about the life of John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, the man who created the world of Middle-earth and wrote books about this fantasized world that he imagined as a child.  Tolkien was born January 3, 1889, to Arthur and Mabel Tolkien in South Africa.  The imagination of Tolkien evolved with many eventful experiences that changed and shaped his life.  When he was still young, John and his brother Hilary moved with their mother to England, where she died a few years later.  Their father had died in South Africa during the Boer War.  As he grew up, John became interested in different medieval languages such as Gothic and Welsh, which he would use to develop the Elf language in his books about Middle-earth.  He would later write a series of stories (that he never finished) about the creation and mythology of Middle-earth, called “the Silmarillion”.  When he was young man, he married his high school sweetheart, Edith, and served in the British military in WWI.  This certainly shaped his perspective about war and influenced his writing.
During the years that followed, he went to Oxford where he met one of closest friends C. S. Lewis, the author of The Chronicles of Narnia and The Screwtape Letters, as well several other books.  He continued to write “the Silmarillion” and also wrote The Hobbit.  Four children were born to John and Edith.  Their names were John, Michael, Christopher, and Pricilla.  During WWII, Tolkien served as an air-raid warden.  During the 1950s, Tolkien published The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. These books didn’t really become best-selling books until the 1960s and 70s.  In 1971, J. R. R. Tolkien’s wife died and two years later he died himself.  On their gravestones, the names Beren and Luthien were inscribed after the two lovers Tolkien wrote about in “the Silmarillion”.
I thought it was very interesting to read about this man who wrote these much beloved books that are now becoming blockbuster movies.  I kind of feel sorry for this man because he lost both his father and mother when he was still a child; this tragedy would continue to plague him for the rest of his life.  He continued to suffer a lot of things up to the time of his death.  Yet, at the same time, I thank God for Tolkien’s endurance and firm belief in Him.  I thank Tolkien for writing these books, especially The Lord of the Rings Trilogy that has influenced many with Christian values in subtle ways.  I’m certain God is giving Beren and his wife Luthien an everlasting peaceful rest from the darkness of Mordor.  I look forward to meeting them when I go to heaven someday.
My rating is 4 ½ stars.
Note:  I received a complimentary copy for an honest review of this book.  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at http://seekingwithallyurheart.blogspot.com/ .  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at https://www.facebook.com/lisa.johnson.75457
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