Articles > J. R. R. Tolkienby Alexis Ulrich
J. R. R. Tolkien
During his studies in Birmingham and Oxford, J. R. R. Tolkien learns Old norse, Ancient greek, Old English, Finnish and Welsh, then he specialises in Scandinavian philology. Sent to the front in 1916, he comes back weakened by trench fever. He then works as an etymologist for the Oxford English Dictionary, and becomes professor in English Language at the University of Leeds before taking up the post of professor of Old English in Oxford. In parallel, he develops his fiction world, writing The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings he will need over ten years to complete, bringing a legendary (and philologic) depth to the world he depicts.
Constructed languages are a passion: he has created more than twenty, of which Quenya and Sindarin are the most famous and developed, to which we can add more or less detailed ones like Khuzdul, Adûnaic, Valarin, Black Speech, Entish, Westron and Rohirric. He also devised scripts for these languages, such as Tengwar, Gondolinic Runes, Cirth, Qenyatic and Valmaric.