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Happy Birthday J.R.R. Tolkien

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“Not all those who wander are lost” – J.R.R. Tolkien

In the city of Bloemfontein in South Africa 127 years ago, one of the greatest writers in history was born – John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, better known as J.R.R. Tolkien.

To celebrate this giant of literature and creator of infamous characters such as Frodo son of Drogo, Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf and the complex world of Middleearth, here are a few interesting facts we dug up on Mr. Tolkien.

- By the age of four, Tolkien could read and write fluently.

- Tolkien had an aptitude for languages, learning almost 20 during his lifetime, including Danish, Old Norse, Spanish and Serbian and Medieval Welsh. 

- Ironically, Peter Jackson, the director of The Lord of the Rings movies was knighted, but Tolkien wasn’t!

- The first signed edition of The Hobbit reportedly sold for £85,000.

- He considered his writing of fantasy books simply a hobby, regarding himself more as a scholar.

- Tolkien’s idea of brain training was inventing new languages.

- Tolkien and Narnia creator C.S. Lewis were close friends, although they did grow apart partly because Tolkien disapproved of Lewis’ relationship with an American divorcee.

- He was quite the prankster. Apparently, he was known to pay shopkeepers with his false teeth.

“If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.”

You will never be forgotten Mr. Tolkien.

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