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J.R.R. Tolkien

J.R.R. Tolkien

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J.R.R. Tolkien

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (11 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
160 pagine
4 ore
Pubblicato:
Aug 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781595554031
Formato:
Libro

Descrizione

Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church. Some are familiar faces. Others are unexpected guests. But all, through their relationships, struggles, prayers, and desires, uniquely illuminate our shared experience.

Born in South Africa and growing up in Great Britain, J.R.R. Tolkien, or Ronald as he was known, led a young life filled with uncertainty and instability.  His was not a storybook childhood- his father died when Ronald was three years old, and his mother died just before he reached adolescence.  Left under the guardianship of his mother's friend and priest, Ronald forged his closest relationships with friends who shared his love for literature and languages.

As Tolkien grew older, married, served as a soldier, and became a well-respected Oxford professor publishing weighty works on Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Beowulf, the Christian faith that his mother had instilled in him continued as an intrinsic element of his creative imagination and his everyday life.

It was through The Hobbit and the three-volume The Lord of the Rings that Tolkien became a literary giant throughout the world.  In his fiction, which earned him the informal title of "the father of modern fantasy literature," Tolkien presents readers with a vision of freedom- nothing preachy- that a strong, unequivocal faith can transmit.

Pubblicato:
Aug 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781595554031
Formato:
Libro

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J.R.R. Tolkien - Mark Horne

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4.5
11 valutazioni / 6 Recensioni
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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    [Book received from publisher for review, through BookSneeze][Review originally published at my blog: AWordsWorth.blogspot.com]As a lover of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, I know very little about the author - and looked forward to the introduction offered by a Christian Encounters biography. Horne does a wonderful job of breaking Tolkien's life into manageable chapters, and corresponding them with Tolkienesque chapter titles that made my inner geek smile. Beginning at the very beginning, Horne looks at Tolkien's life from a dual-perspective: how it impacted the man, and how it influenced the writing. Drawing from previously written, more extensive biographies as well as Tolkien's letters and writings, Horne creates a biography that is condensed without feeling lacking - an enjoyable read, but also substantive. And, of course, there's attention paid to Tolkien's faith and its role.The writing of the biography is such that I am led from chapter to chapter - not just in the text, but in Tolkien's life as well. Spanning cultural and political changes (Tolkien 'came of age' during WWI, losing all but one of his closest friends), it's interesting to look at how his life experiences may have shaped his writing -- and I'm a literature major who hates to superimpose meaning on texts! In this instance, there's a compelling case. With this informative, though necessarily brief, introduction to the personal story of one of my favorite authors, I now feel compelled to track down some more in-depth information -- and I'm probably starting with Horne's own bibliography!
  • (4/5)
    Christian Encounters, a series of biographies from Thomas Nelson Publishers, highlights important lives from all ages and areas of the Church.This particular book is, obviously, a highlight of the life of J.R.R. Tolkien. It is not a full biography, rather it is the outline of his life and a chance for you to 'meet' this famous author. The book is organized chronologically, with heavier emphasis on the early parts of Tolkien's life. It concludes with a brief look at his legacy.As a 'Christian Encounter' this is a decent book. Horne writes well, and one feels as if one gets to know Tolkien a little bit by the end of the book. As far as I know, though I am no expert, this is an accurate look at Tolkien's life, and it was certainly interesting. My only complaint was that I felt as if Horne worked a little bit too hard to relate nearly all of Tolkien's life to The Lord of the Rings. In some ways J.R.R. Tolkien is as much the story of the writing of that epic tale as it is the story of Tolkien's life. And while this is certainly interesting, I would have liked to catch a glimpse of the man behind the work instead of the work behind the man. Conclusion: 4 Stars. Conditionally recommended. This was a fun book, the only condition is that you would like to get to know more about J.R.R. Tolkien. But let's face it, you should want that! This book was provided by Thomas Nelson for review.
  • (4/5)
    Very interesting to read about Tolkiens upbringing, his first love, his strong catholic faith, his war-experiences and how the world of Middle Earth as a creation was formed in his mind due to his love for the old nordic myths. Most interesting was the small clubs he formed with other students and later as a teacher. The first one “Tea Club and Barrovian Society” (a good reason to meet, a cup of tea) - sad that the members with the exception of two died in the first world war - later of course The Inklinks with C. S. Lewis, although it is only briefly mentioned.The Christian Encounters Series include 12 biographies and I’ve been lucky to get a few of them as good kindle-deals.All short biographies, this one 150 pages - but it has wet my appetite for reading a more in-depth biography of Tolkien.
  • (5/5)
    J. R. R. Tolkien's fame seems strangely limitless. His limited published output of only one children's book, one three-part adult book, and a few scholarly works during his lifetime only add to the curiosity of his world-wide appeal. That is, at least, until you sit down and read The Lord of the Rings. Then it all makes sense.Mark Horne has written a slender little book on Tolkien for Thomas Nelson's "Christian Encounters" series of biographies. This isn't a book of original research on the man; it's more a summary and overview of the work of other biographers such as Humphrey Carpenter and Leslie Ellen Jones. That's not a criticism. If you're looking to get a bit of a handle on this legend in a short amount of time, this is an excellent biography.Horne explains what made Tolkien the man he was with clarity and incisiveness. Tolkien's early love for languages, his forbidden relationship with his future wife, and his struggle with losing friends in the great war mark his early years. As life moved along, his struggle to support his family coincided with his perfectionism and his inability to ever consider his work finished (this explains why The Silmarillion was never published in his own lifetime). His friendship with C. S. Lewis which degenerated over time is also telling.I was most pleased by Horne's account of Tolkien's Christianity. Christianity was a way of life for Tolkien—it was more the substructure of his life than a passion. Horne doesn't try (in a "Christian Encounters" book) to turn Tolkien into someone he's not, or read Christianity into his works. He simply reveals Tolken for the man he was: a brilliant perfectionist who lived and loved like the rest of us.Disclaimer: I received this book for free as a member of Thomas Nelson’s Booksneeze program.
  • (5/5)
    J. R. R. Tolkien is one of the most popular authors of modern times, and arguably the most popular author of fiction in the twentieth century. The question is, what lead to this? What were the factors that combined to form the basis of his epic? And finally, what was the meaning behind his tale? In his book, *Christian Encounters: J. R. R. Tolkien*, author and pastor Mark Horne attempts to grapple with these questions. Up front, I have to preface this by saying that I greatly enjoyed one facet of the book that *may* cause some Tolkien fans to dismiss it. Mainly, the fact that Horne was actually willing to write about the negative aspects of Tolkien. As well, he was willing to write about the areas of Tolkien's political beliefs that most authors treat as quaint and narrow-minded. While not necessarily agreeing with these beliefs of Tolkien's, he still treats them respectfully, and makes an effort to fairly explain why Tolkien believed what he did believe. Tolkien's childhood was filled with tragedy. He spent his first few years as a child in a relatively prosperous houselhold in South Africa. The crucial factor to consider is that it was "relatively" prosperous. When Tolkien and his brothers accompanied his mother to England, their father stayed behind to finish up some business matters before joining them. Unfortunately, the elder Tolkien fell sick, and later died in South Africa. After this point, the family was dependant upon the extended relations for help. The sad part was that this help dried up when Tolkien's mother converted from the Anglican to the Roman Catholic Church. The family was denied any further financial assistance. Indeed, they were scorned, and when Tolkien's mother died a few years later, he viewed her as having been a martyr. She had worked herself to death, in his view, and likely in reality, in order to provide the children with a genuine Catholic education and upbringing. This view of Tolkien's about his mother's sacrifice would impact him later on. This impact came with the situation of his wife to be, Edith. He insisted that she convert to the Catholic Church, and she agreed, but she also suffered for this choice. Though her family did not disown her, she still had a difficult time of it. She had no friends in the Church, and she had no friends in Tolkien's academic life. She was the faithful fiance, and later wife, of J. R. R. Tolkien, and didn't have as much of a social life as she should have had. This lead to some sadness on her part, and Tolkien certainly noticed it. Many folks have theorized, based on letters and statements by Tolkien, that the Beren and Luthien story was based upon her life, and sacrifice in marrying into Tolkien's Church. *That* was the source of Tolkien's inscription of Beren and Luthien on his and Edith's tombstone. The other most significant aspect of Tolkien's early life was the advents of the two World Wars and the political changes wrought by them. while insisting that many of the ideas in the Middle-Earth Legendarium were from his imagination, he also admitted that they were influenced by his war experiences in the first World War, or the "Great War", as Tolkien always called it til his dying day. Moreover, his views on monarchy and government in general, the use of machines without morality to twist violate nature and commit evil, were influenced by rapid, and in Tolkien's view, inhumane, industrialization, as well as warfare. The above is just a few of the insights that Horne gives his readers. While it is clear that he admires Tolkien, he is also able to criticize him, and to point to Tolkien's blame in the rift with C. S. Lewis. This really impressed me as i really humanized Tolkien and took away the cloak of hero-worship. This gave me the honest view of the man whom I truly admire, and am looking forward to seeing, in Heaven someday. Great book. Highly Recommended. -----I received this book for free from Thomas Nelson Publishers. I am obligated to read it and give a review to the best of my ability. Thomas Nelson emphasizes their desire for honest reviews, whether positive or negative, in order to help them create a better product. The opinions above are my honest viewpoint. I want to thank Thomas Nelson for allowing me to review this book, and thank you all for reading this.
  • (4/5)
    ** I received this book free from Thomas Nelson's Booksneeze program in exchange for an honest review.**It seems everyone is familiar with the name J.R.R. Tolkien, especially after the most recent film productions of his work. Growing up, myself, to be familiar with Tolkien’s works (we even read The Hobbit in class in… eighth grade, I want to say…), it is rewarding to be able to get a closer glimpse at the man behind the works, at his life and how it shaped him, in turn shaping the books so many have come to love, which have themselves shaped the very face of literature, leaving a lasting impression on the genre that we still feel today.And this book does an excellent job at giving us a basic look into the life of this great author. Shorter than a typical biography, it divides his life into various periods of time (for example, his childhood, his early schooling, “coming of age”, time in Oxford, the war, etc), and appears to give an overview of Tolkien’s life at the time, where he lived, issues that he faced at the time, important people in his life. We are revealed the struggles (like his almost inhabilitating perfectionism) and pains (deaths of his parents and friends) of this great man, no longer able to take for granted the work he left us without understanding and appreciating the person who gave them life.Interesting, for me, was to see where various aspects of his life may have influenced his writing. Various locations or people, images he may have incorporated... I also thought it was clever how the author gave the various sections of the book titles like “Between the Shire and Mordor, Part One” and “Hobbits and Epic Heroism”.This book is a great, quick, look into the life of one of the greatest authors mankind has ever known. It was an enjoyable read, and despite being a “Unitarian nonconformist”, as the author would probably call me, I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the life of J.R.R. Tolkien. In fact, I’d love to get the chance to read any of the other books from the series.