Bram Stoker – The man behind ‘Dracula’

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Abraham Stoker or Bram Stoker as most ‘Dracula’ fans know him, was born the 8th of November 1847. He died in 1912 at the age of 64. He Is an Irish author best known for the novel ‘Dracula.’  He published ‘Dracula’ at the age of 50. Bram spent the early part of his childhood confined to his bed because of a mysterious illness. Looking back on this part of his life Bram mentions that “I was naturally thoughtful, and the leisure of long illness gave opportunity for many thoughts which were fruitful according to their kind in later years.” Bram married Florence Balcome and they had only one child together. This child they named Irving.

Here are some interesting facts about Bram Stoker:

Bram Stoker was the third child of seven.

Even though bed-ridden for most of his childhood he later on excelled in athletics being named University Athlete at Trinity College in Dublin.

Before Florence Balcome married Bram Stoker she actually had another suitor interested in her. His name was Oscar Wilde. Florence chose to be with Bram instead of Oscar. This left Oscar upset enough that he left the country.

Henry Irving and Bram Stoker became close friends. This happened when Bram wrote a review of Hamlet that impressed Henry. A few years later Bram ended up managing Henry Irving’s theatre and career.

‘Dracula’ was inspired by an essay written by Emily Gerard called ‘Transylvania Superstitions.’ Stoker himself had never visited Eastern Europe so he spent a lot of time on research, 7 years in fact.

‘Dracula’ was originally titled ‘The Un-dead’ and ‘Count Dracula’ was originally going to be called ‘Count Wampyr.’

‘Dracula’ wasn’t the first story ever written about vampires. The story ‘Camilla’ written by Sheridan Le Fanu was about a lesbian vampire who stalked young women in 1871. There also happened to be a horror series by James Malcolm Rymer called ‘Varney the Vampire,’ that also came before ‘Dracula.’

Walt Whitman was one of his favourite authors.

Bram’s death didn’t attract much attention in 1912 because it was around the same time as the Titanic hit an iceberg. The Titanic was big news at the time.

There are many different opinions on what the final cause of Bram’s death was. Daniel Farson, Bram Stoker’s grandnephew says in his biography the cause of death was Locomotor Ataxy – know in those days as general paralysis of the insane.

Check out some of Bram Stokers other writing:

The Snakes Pass

Seven Golden Buttons

The Watter’s Mou

The Lair of the White Worm

The Lady of the Shroud

The Jewel of the Seven Stars

The Shoulder of Shasta

The Man (A.K.A The Gates of Life)

Lady Athlyne

The Mystery of the Sea

 

Short Stories:

Under the Sunset (Eight fairy tales for children)

Snowbound: The Record of a Theatrical Touring Party

Dracula’s Guests and Other Weird Stories

 

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James Herbert – The Man Who Knows How To Write An Exceptional Chiller!

James Herbert

James John Herbert was born on the 8th of April, 1943 in London, England. James is a horror/chiller writer with more than 54 million copies of his books sold worldwide. James left school at the early age of 15, but later on went to study at the Hornsey College of Art. After graduating he went on to join a small advertising agency.

In 1974 James published his first novel called The Rats which became an instant success. A lot of people were very critical of The Rats saying that it wasn’t literature. The readers of the time were appalled by the vivid depictions of death and violence that James had written. From this point forward James went on to write a book nearly every year.

James died on the 20th March 2013 at the age of 69. He is survived by a wife and three daughters.

Here are some interesting facts about James Herbert:

James designed many of his own book covers, this may be from the benefit of having worked at an advertising agency.

Herbert was afraid of the dark as a child, but later on in life his real fear was spiders.

In 2010 James was made Grand Master of Horror by the World Horror Convention and given an award by Stephen King.

James was also awarded Officer of the Order of the British Empire, giving him the title of OBE.

Supposedly he would make sure he was finished writing every night at 6 in time to watch The Simpsons and drink a glass of Vodka.

Four of his novels have been made into films. The Rats, The Survivor, Fluke and Haunted.

James never read any of his own books.

Something that Stephen King once said about his writing: “Herbert was by no means literary, but his work had a raw urgency… His best novels, The Rats and The fog, had the effect of Mike Tyson in his championship days: no finesse, all crude power. Those books were best sellers because many readers (including me) were too horrified to put them down.”

 

Some writing by James Herbert you should check out:

Novels

Ash            The Fog                The Rats                        The Magic Cottage                    Fluke

The Survivor                   The Dark                 Shrine                      The Spear                     The Jonah                   Lair

Moon                 Nobody True                   Haunted                  Domain                  Sepulchre              

Portent                  The Secret of Crickley Hall                Once                  Creed                   The Ghosts of Sleath

’48                 Others       

 

Short Stories

They Don’t Like Us                    Breakfast                  Maurice and Mog             

Halloweens Child                 Cora’s Needs                   Extinct

 

Bell Night

 

 

 

Fem Fatale Fantasy Fictionist: Robin Hobb

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Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden has taken on two successful pseudonyms during her writing career. The first being Megan Lindholm and the second being Robin Hobb. Margaret was born in California 1952, but spent majority of her life in Alaska before moving to Washington. At the young age of eighteen Margaret was married and from here on she started her writing career. She first wrote for children’s magazines and progressed into bigger works of fantasy fiction.

Some interesting facts that you may not of known about Margaret:

Although she has experienced a small taste of what adventures are in her books, she mostly writes from doing a lot of research. “I like primary documents when I can get them, diaries, journals and things of that sort. Then I like to find well researched and foot-noted books written on whatever topic I am covering.”

Margaret has four children, three of them are adults.

She has no television in her lounge room only a lot of tall bookcases.

Some of Margaret’s favourite authors: George R R Martin, Jane Johnson, Michael Marshall, Robert Parker and Janet Evanovich.

Good news for readers Margaret has been quoted saying in an interview: “…I’m writing another book. And after that, I think I’ll probably write another book. And then another. Until my hands and eyes give out (They’re in a race to see what fails first.) I think that’s all I can say with certainty. I’ll be writing more books.”

Australian fans will be glad to here that they have the chance to meet Margaret in 2014 at Supernova and she is also going to be a guest at Worldcon, Loncon, London.

If you are a fan of Fantasy, then this is certainly the author for you!

Some writing by Margaret that you should check out:

Robin Hobb

The Farseer Trilogy

Assassins Apprentice                 Royal Assassin                 Assassins Quest

Liveship Traders Trilogy

Ship of Magic            The Mad Ship           Ship of Destiny

The Tawny Man Trilogy

Fools Errand               The Golden Fool             Fool’s Fate

The Rain Wild’s Chronicles:

Dragon Keeper          Dragon Haven             City of Dragons         Blood of Dragons

The Fitz and Fool Trilogy:

The Fool’s Assassin      

Other Elderling  Stories

The Willful Princess and the Piebald Prince

Soldier Son Trilogy:

Shaman’s Crossing             Forest Mage             Renegades Magic

Short Stories

The Inheritance              Homecoming           Words like Coins            Blue Boots

Cat’s Meat             The Triumph            Neighbours

Megan Lindholm

The Ki and Vandien Quartet

Harpy’s Flight        The Windsingers            The Limbreth Gate             Luck of the Wheels

Tillu and Kerlew

The Reindeer People                 Wolf’s Brother

Other Stories

Wizard of the Pigeons               Cloven Hooves             Alien Earth            The Gypsy

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Suzanne Collins: Readers Hunger for More!

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Suzanne Marie Collins was born in Hartford, Connecticut on August 10th, 1962. She is best known for having written The Hunger Games trilogy. The Hunger Games has also been made into a movie.  Suzanne is married to actor Cap Pryor and has two children together.

In 1985 Suzanne graduated in a double major of theater and telecommunications at Indiana University. She then went on to do a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University. Suzanne’s writing career started out as a scriptwriter for televisions shows. Some of these shows were: Clarissa Explains It All, Little Bear, Oswald and the Mystery Files of Shelby Woo. It wasn’t until she met children’s author James Proimos that she decided to try writing children’s books herself.

In 2003 Suzanne published her first book in The Underland Chronicles called Gregor the Overlander. These books are what first brought her to the attention of many readers. In 2008 Suzanne’s first book of The Hunger Games trilogy was released. Since then readers have not been able to get enough of her books.

Here are some interesting facts that you might not have known:

Suzanne is the best selling kindle author in history so far.

Channel-surfing between reality television shows like Survivor and news coverage of the Iraq war gave Suzanne the inspiration for The Hunger Games.

Because of her screenwriting background Suzanne finds dialogue easier to write than descriptive passages.

Suzanne has a lot of family that has been in war. Her father was in the Vietnam War, her grandfather was gassed in World War I and her uncle was injured in World War II.

Some reviewers have compared The Hunger Games to a Japanese novel called Battle Royale saying that it is very similar.

She usually writes for 3 to 5 hours a day, stopping in the early afternoon.

Stephen King read The Hunger Games and has called the book addictive. He also compared the book to “…shoot-it-if-it-moves video games in the lobby of the local eightplex; you know it’s not real, but you keep plugging in quarters anyway.”

Suzanne Collins was 38 when she began to write Gregor the Overlander.

The Hunger Games was at first 50 000 words and then was pushed up to 200 000 words. It has also been translated into 26 different languages.

She was named by Time Magazine as being one of the most influential people of 2010.

The American Library Association ranked The Hunger Games at the 5th most banned book in 2010 due to its violence and sexually inappropriate content.

Allegedly Suzanne is extremely afraid of rats.

Suzanne got the name ‘Katniss’ for the main character in The Hunger Games from a plant. The plant is an aquatic plant. In Latin this plant means ‘belonging to an arrow.’

Scenes from The Hunger games movie: District 12, the Capitol, and the arena were all shot in North Carolina.

Here are some of Suzanne Collins other books to check out:

The Underland Chronicles

Gregor the Overlander                  Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane

Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods                Gregor and the Marks of Secret

Gregor and the Code of Claw

The Hunger Games Trilogy

The Hunger Games                      Catching Fire                         Mockingjay

Others

When Charlie McButton Lost Power                    When Charlie McButton Gained Power

Fire Proof: Shelby Woo #11

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Richard Matheson – We Will Remember You!

 

Richard Matheson

Richard Burton Matheson passed away June 23 this year (2013) at the age of 87. It is always sad to hear when a great author dies. For those of you who didn’t have the pleasure of knowing much about Richard Matheson here is an article dedicated to him:

Richard Burton Matheson was born in Allendale, New Jersey, USA on February 20th 1926. He was a writer best known in the genres of horror, fantasy and science fiction. His most well-known novels also turned into films would be I Am Legend, The Twilight Zone, The Shrinking Man and Hell House.

Richard was the third child of Norwegian immigrants of Bertolf Matheson and Fanny Matheson. Richard published his first short story in The Brooklyn Eagle when he was 8 years old. After graduating high school in 1943, Richard went on to join the military. He served as an infantry soldier during World War II. Then he studied a Bachelor of Journalism at Missouri University. The first story he made money from was Born of Man and Woman. This was published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction. Richard then went on in the years after to write many popular novels and screenplays.

“He is one of the most important writers of the 20th Century” – Ray Bradbury

Here are some facts that you may not have known about Richard Matheson:

His novel The Beardless Warriors described some of his experiences from war.

Something that Richard said in an interview about George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead: “… I watched it one night on television and thought to myself, gee, that’s awfully close to I am Legend. He I guess prefers to believe that it’s just derivation, but it seems pretty close to me.”

He married his wife Ruth Ann Woodson in 1952

The story Duel was inspired from an incident in 1963 after Richard was tailgated by a truck. It started when he was playing a game of golf and heard the news of President J.F.Kennedy being assassinated. He stopped playing his game and began to return home. On his journey home a truck tailgated him for a long period of time. Duel was then later adapted for a television-movie by Spielberg. This was the beginning of Spielberg’s career.

He nearly wrote the screenplay for Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. Richard didn’t agree with Hitchcock about the actual birds. Richard believed that the audience shouldn’t see the birds very often. Where as Hitchcock wanted them seen a lot.

Richard came up with the idea for I Am Legend when he was 16 after seeing Dracula. He didn’t write the book until 1952.

Something that Richard said about screen-writing once: “One of my pet peeves is the fact that when people win awards – Academy Awards, notably – if it’s based on a novel, they never mention it. It’s as if the novel never existed. The screenwriter acts as if he’s made it up out of his own head. Sometimes even the director acts as if he’s made it up out of his own head. It’s an ego problem, of course, but it’s tremendously unfair as well.

Richard had four children and three of them have become writers.

Richard Matheson has left a great mark on the world. He will always be remembered.

Some of Richard Matheson’s writing that you should check out:

Novels

I Am Legend                               A Stir of Echoes                     Someone is Bleeding                    Fury on Sunday             7 Steps to Midnight

The Shrinking Man              Hell House                    Hunger and Thirst                              The Gunfight                   What Dreams May Come

The Beardless Warriors               Earthbound                Woman                Shadow on the Sun              Passion Play            Camp Pleasant     

Other Kingdoms                 Generations               Hunted Past Reason               Now You See It…          Abu and the 7 Marvels         

Come Fygures Come Shadowes

 

Short Stories

Born of Man and Woman                   The Test                   Blood Son                 Miss Stardust               Interest                  The Thing      

The Last Day              Deadline                Slaughter House              Wet Straw                Death Ship               The Edge            A Drink of Water

One for the Books            Pattern for Survival               The Holiday Man               The Doll                Getting Together         Shoo Fly

 

Films

Tales of Terror                 The Box               Real Steel               The Devil Rides Out            The Incredible Shrinking Man             House of Usher

The Young Warriors           Master of the World                 The Raven                   The Last Man on Earth               The Pit and the Pendulum

De Sade              Loose Cannons                 Fanatic            The Legend of Hell House             What Dreams May Come          Burn Witch Burn

The Comedy of Terrors       

 

Bell Night

 

The Shine on Award… Thank you Serenity!

I have just recently been awarded the Shine on Award by a great friend of mine Serenity! 

I was really flattered.

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Here are 7 random questions that I am suppose to answer that come with this award:

1.  Rank these kinds of weather from best to worst: Sunny and hot, misty and cold, rain and cool, snow, ice, windy.

Misty and cool, rain and cool, sunny and hot, windy, snow, ice. – I haven’t seen snow before.

2.  Do you like outdoor music festivals?

Depends what it is. I would like a book festival more!

3.  Do you like drinking water?

Yes I love water!

4.  My favorite alcoholic beverage.

Hmm. It has changed a few times over the years, but I seem to like Cider at the moment.

5.  Best drug experience.

I really can’t say that I have had a best drug experience to tell.

6.  Most fun when not taking anything?

Reading! Of course.

7.  Greatest sorrow

The death of loved ones is always sad.

As for giving this award to someone I choose Kelli Beck

There are many that deserve the award, but I am only going to give it one person. Kelli Beck writes a blog called Wordsmithing Ain’t Easy – This is an amazing blog with regularly updated posts. Covered on this blog are book releases, books, book trailers, writing, daily prompts and much much more! All writers and readers should definitely check out this blog!!!

Thank you again Serenity for giving me this great award! Happy blogging everyone!

Peter Straub: An author to add to your horror collection!

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Peter Francis Straub was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on March 2nd 1943. He is an author and poet, best known for his work in the genre of horror. He was the eldest of three sons, his mother was a nurse and his father was a salesman. Straub began his writing career by publishing two small books of poetry and by writing two novels in the 1970’s. These novels were called Marriages and Under Venus. These two novels were not very successful, but in spite of that Straub continued writing. A lot of Stephen King fans will recognise the name Peter Straub because of his collaboration with him on the novels The Talisman and Black House.

Here are some interesting facts that you may not have known about Peter Straub:

Fans will be excited to hear that there are rumours of Straub and King doing a third Talisman book.

Straub’s parents had higher ambitions for their son other than becoming a writer. Straub’s father wanted him to become a professional athlete.

Straub is a great fan of Jazz, Opera and other kinds of classical music.

His wife’s name is Susan.

When Straub was seven years old his was temporarily paralysed after being hit by a car. He was in a wheelchair for a little and had to re-learn how to walk. He early on became aware of his own mortality.

In 1981 his novel Ghost Story was loosely adapted into a film. One of the main actors in this film was Fred Astaire.

To name just some of Straub’s favourite authors: Stephen King, Raymond Chandler, Muriel Spark, Donald Harington and John Crowley.

Straub has had his novels translated into more than twenty languages.

Something wise that Straub once said: “I wish I’d known at the beginning that all I really had to do is trust myself. Everything would work out as if by magic once I actually leaned back into my imagination and just let it work, and not question it and not fret about it.”

If you are a horror fiction fan and need something new to read, pick up a book by Peter Straub. Well worth the read!

Novels to read:

Koko       

Ghost Story                

If You Could See Me Now                

Mystery

Shadowland          

Julia                   

The Throat               

The Hellfire Club        

Mr X.                 

Under Venus             

Marriages             

Floating Dragon      

Lost Boy, Lost Girl                

In the Night Room             

A Dark Matter

Peter Straub and Stephen King:

The Talisman                  

Black House

Poems:

Open Air                      

My Life in Pictures

Ishmael

Lesson Park and Belsize Square: Poems 1970 – 1975              

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Terry Pratchett – The Creator of Discworld

Pratchett, Terry

Sir Terence David John Pratchett was born in 1948 in Beaconsfield, England. He is mostly known for a series of fantasy novels about a place called ‘Discworld.’ The Discworld itself is described as a large disc resting on the backs of four giant elephants, all supported by the giant turtle Great A’Tuin as it swims its way through space. The books are basically in chronological order. He has sold more than 55 million books worldwide and had his books translated into 33 different languages. Terry Pratchett went to John Hampden Grammar School, but claims that his education came from the local library. His first short story was published at the age of 13 in the school magazine Technical Cygnet. This short story was called The Hades Business. When he was 15 it was then published commercially in Science Fantasy. With the money earned from this published short story, he bought his first typewriter.

After finishing school Terry began a career in journalism. It was during this time he wrote his first novel ‘The Carpet People.’ This novel marked the beginning of his writing career. From this point on he wrote many other stories and his first ‘Discworld’ novel in 1983. This was called ‘The Colour of Magic.’ In 1968 he was married to his wife Lyn and then in 1976, he had a daughter named Rhianna. Rhianna went on to follow in her father’s footsteps as a writer. Rhianna Pratchett’s main area of writing is with video games. In November 2012 Terry Pratchett announced that he would leave the intellectual rights for theDiscworld’ novels to Rhianna, who could continue writing for it if she chose to do so.

In 2007 Terry Pratchett discovered that he had a very rare form of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. He donated a one million dollars Alzheimer’s Research Trust after finding out that the funding for Alzheimer’s research was small. In 2008 Terry began working with BBC on a documentary series based on his illness.

Here are some things that you may not have known about Terry Pratchett:

Terry was one of the first authors to use the internet to communicate with fans. Terry has always had a great interest in computers. His first computer was a Sinclair ZX81. When he travels, he always takes a laptop with him to write. He also enjoys playing computer games and has also helped out in creating a lot of game adaptations of his novels.

Terry is a great supporter and trustee of the Orangutan foundation in the UK. One of his most popular fictional characters is the librarian in the ‘Unseen University’s’ library. The librarian is an Orangutan.

He owns a greenhouse full of carnivorous plants. Some of these plants have been used in his novels.

He is the most shop-lifted author in Britain.

His fans do not seem to be restricted by age or genre.

Terry is known to have a great sense of humour as shown in an interview. He was asked if he has noticed any affect from Alzheimers happening and he replied “Yes. Bits drop out. The short-term memory has gone and so has the short-term memory. The short-term memory – OK, little jokes won’t be so funny in the fullness of time, but laughter is the best medicine.”

Terry writes an average of 2 books a year.

As he was growing up he considered Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows his favourite book.

Terry has said that ‘…To write, you must read extensively, both inside and outside your chosen genre…’

Here is a list of novels and stories by Terry Pratchett that you should check out:

Discworld Series:

1. The Colour of Magic         2. The Light Fantastic        3. Equal Rites      4. Mort            5. Sourcery               6. Wyrd Sisters

7. Pyramids          8. Guards! Guards!        9.Eric            10. Moving Pictures       11. Reaper Men               12. Witches Abroad                13. Small Gods

14. Lords and Ladies       15. Men at Arms     16. Soul Music       17. Interesting Times        18. Maskerade         19. Feet of Clay

20. Hogfather          21. Jingo         22. The Last Continent       23. Carpe Jugulum      24. The Fifth Elephant       25. The Truth

26. Theif of Time       27. The Last Hero        28. The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents          29. Night Watch

30. The Wee Free Men      31. Monstrous Regiment        32. A Hat Full of Sky        33. Going Postal         34. Thud!

35. Wintersmith      36. Making Money     37. Unseen Academicals     38. I Shall Wear Midnight      39. Snuff       40. Raising Steam

Discworld Short Stories:
(Most of these are available online.)

Turntables of the Night               Troll Bridge            Theatre of Cruelty            The Sea and Little Fishes

Death and What Comes Next           A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices

Science Books:

The Science of Discworld             The Science of Discworld II: The Globe              The Science of Discworld III: Darwin’s Watch

The Science of Discworld IV: Judgement Day

Mapps:

The Streets of Ankh-Morpork           The Discworld Mapp           A Tourist Guide to Lancre                Death’s Domain

Other works by Terry Pratchett:

The Dark Side of the Sun                   Strata                 Good Omens              Nation                A Blink of the Screen                 A Slip of the Keyboard

The Carpet People         Johnny and the Bomb                       Johnny and the Dead            Dodger               The Nome Triliogy

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Kate Grenville – An Amazing Aussie Author

Kate Grenville

Kate Grenville was born in 1950 in Sydney, Australia. Kate Grenville established herself as a well-known author in 1984 when she published a collection of short stories called Bearded Ladies. Bearded Ladies  were short stories based on the notion of women trying to free themselves from gender stereotypes within society.  Kate then went on to publish 8 fiction novels. Kate is known to do a lot of research for her books, using historical and factual information in the creative process.

Some interesting facts about Kate Grenville:

Kate always wanted to be a writer when she was young, but didn’t know that it was an option when picking a career.

Her first job was a university holiday job at a milk bar. “I had no idea that feet could ache that much after 8 hours of standing behind a counter. And I’ve never been able to look at a milkshake from that day to this.”

Her favourite book of all time is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin.

The people that she finds most influential when writing is Jane Austen, Virgina Woolf and Patrick White.

Some of Kate Grenville’s writing that you should check out:

Lillian’s Story – Published in 1985 it follows the life story of a woman named Lillian Una Singer.

Dreamhouse – Published in 1986 – A sort of black comedy about a marriage on the rocks

Joan Makes History – Published in 1988 is about a woman who is present at all the famous moments in Australia’s European history.

Dark Places (Albion’s story in the U.S.) – Published in 1994 – Is a novel to go along with Lillian’s Story – it is from the point of view of her father.

The Idea of Perfection – Published in 1999 – About two unlikely people who fall in love.

The Secret RiverPublished in 2005 – Part of a trilogy about early Australia

The Lieutenant – Published 2008 – Part of a trilogy about early Australia

Sarah Thornhill – Part of a trilogy about early Australia.

If you are looking for something interesting to read: Kate Grenville is for you.

Bell Night

Some things you didn’t know about J. R. R. Tolkien

tolkien

Everyone knows that J. R. R. Tolkien wrote the Lord of the Rings books, but what else do you know about Tolkien? John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was his full name. He was born in South Africa on the 3rd of January 1892 and died on the 2nd of September 1973 at the age of 81-82. He began living in England at the age of 3, a decision made by his mother after his father passed away. He was best known for his fantasy novels: The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Tolkien was one of the authors to bring the genre of fantasy to the forefront in literature.

Here are some interesting facts on Tolkien:

Most of Tolkien’s ancestors were craftsmen. The surname Tolkien comes from the German word Tollkuehn, which means fool-hardy.

As a young teen Tolkien started to explore languages. The first 3 languages that Tolkien worked on were Animalic, (which he didn’t invent himself) Nevbosh (means ‘new nonsense’) and Naffarin (he worked on by himself).

Tolkien’s wife Edith was 3 years older than him. He was not allowed to marry her until he turned 21. On the day he turned 21, he wrote to Edith asking her when he would see her again and declared his love. Edith wrote back telling him that she was already engaged to another man. The reason for this was that she believed Tolkien had forgotten about her. Tolkien got on a train to see her as soon as he heard. She returned the engagement ring to the other man and accepted Tolkien’s proposal.

Tolkien fought in World War I and lost many of his friends there.

Tolkien wrote an essay in 1936 Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics. ‘Beowulf’ wasn’t highly regarded at the time as great literature. After Tolkien’s essay things changed and people started to see ‘Beowulf’ in a different light. If it wasn’t for Tolkien many of us would never of even heard of ‘Beowulf.’

Tolkien was friends with C.S. Lewis.

When Tolkien’s son Michael entered the army and had to fill in paper work, he put down that his father’s profession was a ‘Wizard.’

Tolkien enjoyed forming clubs while he was at university. One was a Viking club and the other was a club called ‘the inklings.’ ( a literary discussion group)

Tolkien always saw himself as a scholar first and a writer second. He was skeptical of his fans, believing that they were incapable of really appreciating his work.

Most people think of The Lord of the Rings books as a trilogy, because that is how they were published, but in fact it is meant to be one novel.

Tolkien didn’t see ‘Frodo’ as being the main hero of The Lord of the Rings. He always claimed that ‘Sam’ was the real hero of the story. If most people knew this before they read the books, it would definitely change how it is seen.

The Lord of the Rings took Tolkien 14 years to write. It is also believed that when he needed a copy of the manuscript, he didn’t have the resources to make one, so he retyped the whole thing again himself.

Some of Tolkien’s publications that you should consider reading are: Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics.

The Hobbit

The Lord of the Rings

The Silmarillion

Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-Earth

The Children of Hurin

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun

Children’s stories:

The Father Christmas Letters

Mr Bliss

Roverandom

Tree and Leaf

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

On Fairy-Stories (an essay)

Smith of Wootton Major

Farmer Giles of Ham

J. R. R. Tolkien was an author with the ability to create worlds that were as believable as our reality.

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