Last week, I gave 8 things about Tolkien that you may not know. I am reading a biography of this Inkling for a book club challenge I am participating in during 2018. So, without further delay, here are 9 more facts about Tolkien:
- Contrary to popular belief, Tolkien does not remember where he came up with the word “hobbit.”
- Tolkien said that one of the primary reasons he wrote The Hobbit, and later The Lord of the Rings, was because there weren’t enough native English fairy stories.
- The Hobbit was never intended for publication. C.S Lewis – Tolkien’s dear friend – convinced him to publish it.
- C.S. Lewis dedicated The Screwtape Letters to Tolkien. The Problem of Pain was dedicated to the Inklings – a literary club that Tolkien was a member of alongside of Lewis.
- Tolkien told a fellow professor at Oxford that the lembas bread that the hobbits were fond of eating was meant to represent the Eucharist. Gandalf, he said, represented an angel.
- Tolkien considered writing The Lord of the Rings entirely in Elvish.
- The concept of The Lord of the Rings being a trilogy was not Tolkien’s idea. His publisher at the time – Allen and Unwin – were convinced this was the only way to market the story.
- Tolkien received 5 honorary doctorates, but the award he cherished the most was the Order of the British Empire, which was given to him by Queen Elizabeth in 1973. This award is one rank below knighthood.
- Tolkien died of pneumonia on September 2, 1973 – 5 days after he told a taxi driver, “I feel on top of the world!”