A good first biography This biography was the first to appear after Tolkien’s death. While it isn’t (thankfully) a cut and paste rush job – Carpenter was given a great deal of help by the Tolkien family, who also co-operated with him on an edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s letters – it isn’t the most thoughtful or analytical reflection on Tolkien’s like and work, either. The author seems hesitant to praise, let alone fully analyse, Tolkien’s work, and also reluctant (perhaps because of his closeness to the family) to give…
Insight into a Genius Firstly, Iâve got to say that J.R.R. Tolkien by Humphry Carpenter was a real eye-opening biography. I was completely in the dark going into this book, having never read the Silmarillion, The Hobbit, or Lord of the Rings (I know, I know. Donât shoot!!!) but left in awe of his achievements both academically and creatively.Itâs great to see that Carpenter doesnât shy away from the truth and paints Tolkien as a highly intelligent, if not, slightly eccentric man. It was inspiring to see…
Redable and Thorough I had read this before a long time ago and bought it to re-read after seeing the recent bio-pic of Tolkien. Considering that much of Tolkien’s life was uneventfully spent studying and teaching it’s an achievement to make it interesting to the reader. There was less about his relationship with his wife and children than I might have liked, but I suppose the counter argument is that people are interested more in his writing, and how that developed in places from his life experience, than…
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