His influential 1936 lecture, Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics opened new doors to research on Beowulf.
Inspired by mythologies and legends, Tolkien spent a lot of time writing ingenious fantasy stories. He invented his own languages to be spoken by the elfish characters in his tales. The Silmarillion, which was published in 1977 long after it’s completion is a depiction of Tolkien’s thirst for learning early languages and making up his own fantasy language.
The Hobbit (1937), which Tolkien originally wrote for his children, narrates the story of a Hobbit, a small man like creature who set out on a quest for treasure. Gaining immense popularity, the book was published again with pictures drawn by Tolkien. The publisher convinced Tolkien to write a sequel which came 17 years later in the form of The Lord of The Rings (1954-1955). Although Tolkien intended to target it towards children as a sequel to The Hobbit, instead it turned out to be more serious and attracted a grown up readership. The Lord of The Rings has topped many lists and was named The Nation’s Best Loved Book after a survey conducted by BBC in 2003. Published in three volumes namely The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King were later adapted to screen by NewZealand director Peter Jackson in a series of three parts films in 2001-2003.
Some more of Tolkien’s further noted works include Farmer Giles of Ham (1949), The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book (1962), Tree and Leaf (1964), Smith of Wootton Major (1967). Some of Tolkien’s incomplete work finished by his son Christopher after his death includes The Silmarillion, the “prequel” to The Lord of the Rings, Unfinished Tales of Nmenor and Middle-earth (1980) and Children of Hrin.
R. R. Tolkien whose legacy continues even today through his masterpieces died on September 2, 1973.