J.R.R. Tolkien was born on 3rd January 1892. After serving in the First World War, he became best known for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, selling 150 million copies in more than 50 languages worldwide. Awarded the CBE and an honorary Doctorate of Letters from Oxford University, he died in 1973 at the age of 81.
Christopher Tolkien, born on 21 November 1924, was the third son of J.R.R. Tolkien. During the Second World War he served in the Royal Air Force and the Fleet Air Arm as a pilot. At the end of the war he returned to Oxford University and became a Fellow and Tutor, lecturing on early English and northern literature. He devoted himself after his father's death in 1973 to the editing of his unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales, the twelve volumes of The History of Middle-earth, and The Children of Hurin, Beren and Luthien and The Fall of Gondolin. In 1975 he moved with his wife Baillie to live in France. He died in 2020 at the age of 95.
"I hope that its universality and power will grant it a place in English mythology" Independent on Sunday
"The darkest of all Tolkien's tales. Alan Lee's illustrations complement the writing splendidly" Times Literary Supplement
"A masterpiece...an extraordinary book. As in The Silmarillion you feel yourself in the presence of a personal genius." A.N. Wilson, The Telegraph