Wednesday, January 3, 2024


Today marks the 132nd anniversary of the birth of J.R.R. Tolkien. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that Tolkien is almost certainly the single most important creator for the subsequent development of the fantasy genre as it has come to be widely understood – no small feat for an Oxford don specializing in Anglo-Saxon language and literature! 

Usually, on these occasions, I try to find some novel way to celebrate the occasion, but, after so many years of doing so, I must admit that it's become harder and harder to write something that has not already been written dozens of times beforehand and often more eloquently. That's why, this year, I will simply state that my own life has been inestimably enriched since I first read The Lord of the Rings in 1980. For that reason, I am forever grateful to Professor Tolkien, as, I suspect, are the countless others who have enjoyed his tales of Middle-earth over the decades.


  1. I'll never forget being in 6th grade on a Naval base in Iceland, and discovering hardbacks of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings in the tiny base library, after watching the cartoons. The huge pullout maps blew my mind. Soon after, I saw the D&D module In Search of the Unknown for the first time, too...
    I officially became an adventurer in fantasy that year.

    Great post. An "If you know, you know". Ha!