Sunday, May 12, 2013

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend

J.R.R. Tolkien: The Making of a Legend, Colin Duriez, Lion Hudson, Biography, November 7, 2012, 192 pages.

Synopsis: Long before the successful The Lord of the Rings films, J.R.R. Tolkien’s creations, imagination, and characters had already captured the hearts and minds of millions of readers. But who was the man who dreamt up the intricate languages and perfectly crafted world of Middle-earth? Tolkien had a difficult life for many years—orphaned and poor, his guardian forbade him from communicating with the woman he had fallen in love with, and he also suffered through the horrors of World War I. An intensely private and brilliant scholar, he spent more than 50 years working on the languages, history, peoples, and geography of Middle-earth, with a consistent mythology and body of legends inspired by a formidable knowledge of early northern European history and culture. J.R.R. Tolkien became a legend by creating an imaginary world that has enthralled and delighted generations.

My thoughts: Do you pride yourself on knowing all you can about The Lord of the Rings? This book can teach you quite a bit about the one who knows more than any fan: Tolkien himself. From his early life to post-publication habits, a lot of material makes it into this small book. It is very concise, but still very enthralling to read. Duriez has a way with biographical words. Having written seven titles about members of the Inklings (five of which concerned Tolkien), and one on C.S. Lewis being released later this year, Duriez certainly proves a perfected knowledge of Tolkien's life and work, alongside those of the other Inkling members.

One of the best uses I've found for this book (beside learning of Tolkien's personal life) is the appreciation that comes with reading the amount of work he put into this world and the languages it holds. All the other work he performed in education (which was substantial), this was his primary focus, and this impresses me very much. I very much wish to read each of his works again after digesting this book. I suspect other readers will feel the same, and I urge them to find this book someday, whether it is before or after reading Tolkien.

*This book was provided free by Kregel Blog Tours. I was not required to write a positive review, and the opinions expressed are my own.*

My rating: 5 stars

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