• Tolkien is born

    Tolkien is born
    J.R.R. Tolkien is born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. His father worked as a bank manager there. Upon his father's death, the family moved back to Birmingham, England.
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  • Tolkien's Education

    Tolkien's Education
    Tolkien begins his academic life in Oxford. Initially he studied classics at Exeter College before switching to English language and Literature. He graduated in 1915.
  • Tolkien's Marriage

    Tolkien's Marriage
    Tolkien married the love of his life, Edith, on March 22, 1916. He later wrote about Luthien and Beren, two Middle Earth lovers, basing their tale upon his and Edith's.
  • Tolkien the Professor

    Tolkien the Professor
    After serving in World War I and working for the Oxford English Dictionary, Tolkien became a Fellow of Pembroke College. He was Professor of Anglo-Saxon. He continued at Pembroke until 1945. It was during his time here that he wrote The Hobbit and the first two volumes of The Lord of the Rings.
  • Tolkien the Author

    Tolkien the Author
    Tolkien became Professor of English Language and Literature at Merton College in 1945. He worked here until 1959. During his tenure at Merton, The Lord of the Rings was published as a three-volume set in 1954-55.
  • Awards

    Queen Elizabeth the II named Tolkien a Commander of the British Empire. Later that year, on March 28, she also named him a member of the Order of Buckingham Palace.
  • Tolkien's Death

    Tolkien's Death
    Two years after his beloved Edith's death, Tolkien died in Oxford. He is buried with Edith in Wolvercote Cemetry in Oxford, and the names Beren and Luthien are inscribed on their tombstones.