If you pressed me to think about it, I would probably say my all-time favorite fiction author is J.R.R. Tolkien. Last year I read a biography in the Christian Encounters series about Winston Churchill. In the last pages of the book were some “coming soon” advertisements. One was for J.R.R. Tolkien, and I was SOOO excited. I hoped I would have the chance to review it, but I didn’t hold my breath. Recently it popped up on booksneeze as an e-book. It was the opportunity I had hoped for!
Mark Horne compiled many different sources to bring a fresh, new biography about Tolkien which explores his life events and how they shaped his writings.
Tolkien is probably best known as the author of the Lord of the Rings. He wrote that book later in his life, after writing The Hobbit, yet he laid a foundation for Middle Earth many years before either book came to be. In Horne’s biography about Tolkien I discovered many things that fascinated me. Tolkien was a linguist. He was fluent in several languages and preferred to read works of literature in their original languages. (He developed his own fictional elven language.) The passion he had for linguistics shaped his career path as well. Horne avoids making many assumptions or conclusions about Tolkien. Instead, he presents factual information in a chronological format. He sometimes makes suggestions about possible correlation between the events of his life and his writings, but conclusions are left up to the reader.
Read the rest: Sound Off: Book Review: J.R.R. Tolkien by Mark Horne.