Christopher Tolkien, born on 21 November 1924, is 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 in English of New College in 1964, lecturing in the University on early English and northern literature. Appointed by J.R.R. Tolkien to be his literary executor, he has devoted himself since his father's death in 1973 to the editing and publication of unpublished writings, notably The Silmarillion and Beowulf, and the collections entitled Unfinished Tales and The History of Middle-earth. Since 1975 he has lived in France with his wife Baillie.
'One marvels anew at the depth, breadth and persistence of J.R.R. Tolkien's labour. No one sympathetic to his aims -- the invention of a secondary universe -- will want to miss this chance to be present at the creation.' Publishers Weekly