It’s sixty years since the publication of J.R.R. Tolkien’s first volume of The Lord of The Rings. Why was he so inspired by the Great War—and a group of schoolfriends?
War runs like iron ore through the bones of Tolkien’s Middle-earth—and most of all through The Lord of the Rings, the masterpiece which first saw the light 60 years ago today.
The Fellowship of the Ring, the first volume of three, was published on July 29, 1954, a date picked by his publisher for solely practical reasons. Yet it is a curious coincidence that it was almost exactly the 40th anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War. Because it was during that war that Tolkien first created Middle-earth…. Continue reading at the Daily Beast…
This post is also available in Portuguese at the Tolkien Brasil website.
More on this blog about Tolkien and the Great War:
- Sam Gamgee and Tolkien’s batmen
- Tolkien at fifteen, a warrior-to-be
- Secrets of The Hydra: how Tolkien research uncovered lost Wilfred Owen magazines
Read the definitive account in my acclaimed book Tolkien and the Great War.
More Tolkien features via my website