Writer Christopher Tolkien: biography, creativity, books and reviews
Do you know who Christopher Tolkien is? Today we will talk about the biography of this famous person, his activities, as well as books that brought him such fame. Let us dwell on all aspects in order to get closer to our hero.
Who are we talking about?
Christopher Tolkien is a linguist and famous English writer. He also works as a professor at Oxford University and part-time is the youngest third son of J. R. R. Tolkien. He gained fame thanks to the books that he wrote on his father’s drafts. They were about adventures in the fictional world of Middle-earth. Christopher Tolkien writes in the fantasy genre exclusively in English. His debut was the book "The Silmarillion". The work of the writer was awarded the Bodley Medal.
Christopher Reuel Tolkien was born in the small town of Leeds, in England.He became the third and youngest son of the famous writer J. R. R. R. Tolkien. He studied at an ordinary school in Cherwell, and then attended a Catholic school of speakers. The boy grew up an ordinary child. He showed no particular bias for anything. He did not even have a craving for his father's business - writing. It seemed that he would go his own way, absolutely different. But it all happened wrong.
When World War II began, Tolkien Christopher became the pilot of the Royal Air Force of Great Britain. After that, I decided to get a higher education and entered Oxford, where I was actively studying English literature and linguistics. A few years later, Christopher himself became a teacher of English literature at Oxford University. In this position he worked from 1964 to 1975.
When his father died, Tolkien Christopher, with the help of G. G. Kay, was able to finalize his father’s drafts and release the book The Silmarillion. She became the debut for Christopher in the literary field, as mentioned above. Seeing such a success, Tolkien decided to continue the story. During 1983-1996, he published a huge 12-volume series of books entitled The History of Middle-earth.The story was not invented by Christopher himself, but by his father. He only slightly modified what his father started. In print, the book was supplemented by Christopher’s comments.
In 2007, based on one of his father’s drafts, Christopher Tolkien wrote a short sequel to the story Children of Hurin, which became a story. The books of Tolkien were enthusiastically received by the public. People were glad to know that their favorite story was going on. Circulation diverged instantly, and Christopher Tolkien became more and more popular and recognizable.
Just 2 years after the publication of The Children of Hurin, Christopher Tolkien in 2009 publishes a book called The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrun. Interestingly, the work did not concern the cycle of stories about the fictional world of Middle-earth. The book was no less successful.
Over time, Christopher Tolkien, whose books were becoming increasingly popular, became the leader of the Tolkien Heritage organization. The organization had all the rights to the works of J. Tolkien, except for two - "The Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit." The rights to these works belonged to film producer Saul Zentz's Tolkien Enterprises. A serious conflict broke out between these two organizations. Christopher tried to prove that his family has the full right to the payment of income from films.Initially, he wanted to completely prevent shooting. However, he failed to achieve any result and had to act through the court. In a statement, Christopher Tolkien indicated that his family was entitled to a payment of $ 160 million.
The conflict of interest has not bypassed the family itself. So, Christopher almost stopped talking to his son Simon, who was a member of the crew. A small conflict has grown to the point that father and son did not communicate for several years. How things are in the family at the moment is unknown.
Christopher Tolkien himself is extremely negative about films. His opinion is understandable, although still films about Middle-earth are popular and loved all over the world. In one interview, he said that the book was completely disfigured, turning the storyline into a trivial fighter for young people from 15 to 25 years old. Also, Christopher said that the Hobbit is likely to be the same. In another interview, Tolkien expressed himself even more angrily. He said that J. Tolkien is becoming a monster in the eyes of people, which devours his own popularity. He noted that the serious intent and beauty of his father’s works were completely erased, giving way to the usual commercialization.The philosophical and artistic ideas of the work completely disappeared. For himself, Christopher Tolkien made the only decision - not to watch.
To date, Christopher Tolkien is in a second marriage with Bali Tolkien. They live in France. The couple had 2 children: Rachel and Adam. In the first marriage, the writer had a son Simon (in 1959), who built a career as a lawyer and novelist.
Christopher’s literary heritage is quite extensive. The history of Middle-earth (Christopher Tolkien) is represented by a number of books, which are divided into several subgroups:
- Lost stories of Middle-earth.
- History of the Lord of the Rings.
- The Story of the Silmarillion
- The peoples of Middle-earth.
Also, the hero of our article wrote and published a number of books. Christopher Tolkien wrote Beowulf, The Unfinished Traditions of Numenor and Middle Earth and The Fall of Arthur. The second book has the word "Middle-earth" in its title, but history itself does not concern this fictional world.
This work should be considered separately. "Ring of Morgoth" Christopher Tolkien released along with the 12-volume edition of his father's stories.This work is the 10th volume of Stories of Middle-earth. In this book, Christopher analyzes many of his father’s creations that never went to print. This and the next volume entitled “The War of Gems” contains editorial comments and narrations that relate to the cosmology of J. Tolkien. By the way, after a while, Christopher turned on the "Ring of Morgoth" in "The Silmarillion". Interestingly, this work mentions heroes that are no longer found in any other works by J. Tolkien.
Who is Morgoth? He is the main source of evil in Arda. Morgoth rebelled against Eru Iluvatar. The contents of the book are as follows:
- First, we consider the changes that J. Tolkien made to the Silmarillion, an analysis of the corrections is carried out.
- The following is the story of the creation of the world with detailed chronology. This section is called the Annals of Aman.
- This is followed by a section entitled “The Laws and Customs of Eldar,” which contains legends and an essay about elves. Basically, the concepts of body and soul, customs of marriage and the giving of new names are told.
- In the “Atrabet Finrod ah Andrede” section, readers observe a dispute between the king of the elves and the ordinary woman.The controversy concerns the metaphysical differences between humans and elves.
- The chapter entitled "The Tale of Adanel" offers the Middle-earth version of original sin.
- The last chapter, titled “The Transformation of Myths,” deals with the history of Sauron, Morgoth and the Orcs. Some passages of this section are often quoted as they have become key in the works of Tolkien.
Reviews of the books of K. Tolkien are different. In general, they are all divided into either negative or enthusiastic. It’s hard to find someone who has a dual relationship with Tolkien’s books or films. Most reviews are positive. This is not surprising, since after the release of films J. Tolkien became the favorite of thousands of people around the world. After the adaptation of the greatly increased sales of books. The whole world is delighted with the impressive and intimidating story that the inimitable unique writer has created.
There are those who did not like this story at all. However, taste plays a role here. Some people like fantasy, but some don't. And this is the personal choice of each person.
In the end I would like to add a few facts. The grandson of J. Tolkien, Simon, about whom we spoke above, more than once gave an interview about how his life changed after the release of the films.When he was small, his grandfather’s books were already read, but after the films were released, the Tolkien family began to be considered celebrities. Everything would be fine, but not all family members wanted to lead a public lifestyle. Simon’s son was often teased at school by calling him a “hobbit.” But Simon's eldest daughter, Anna, reacted to fame quite differently. She is proud that her ancestor is the person who created the fictional world that conquered the real one. And Simon himself noted that it is rather difficult to create and write “in the shadow of” such a famous grandfather. People react to the surname, and only then they are interested in the person himself. Simon says that because of this popularity, he did not communicate for many years with his father, the hero of our article, Christopher.
Summing up, I would like to say only one thing - read books and watch films telling the stories of Middle-earth. This is an incredible huge world that will capture you completely.