Happy Anniversary JRR and Edith Tolkien

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By Carl Kruse

Happy anniversary J.R.R. and Edith Tolkien, married on this day in 1916.

Tolkien met Edith as a teenager and supposedly became so smitten with her he neglected school and other responsibilities. Edith was a Protestant and three years Tolkien’s senior, something disapproved of by Tolkien’s guardian, the stern Catholic Father Morgan. When he was 18, Father Morgan forbade Tolkien from speaking, meeting or even writing to Edith until his 21st birthday on pain of ending his college career. Tolkien obeyed to the day and almost immediately proposed to Edith on his 21st birthday in 1913. She accepted and they remained married until her death in 1971. All through the destruction of World War I, a conflagration that saw Tolkien do combat while many of his childhood friends died, and through the destruction of World War II.

JRR and Edith Tolkien on the Carl Kruse Blog.

Edith was Tolkien’s muse and the inspiration for the high Elven princesses Lúthien Tinúviel and Arwen Evenstar in his trilogy LORD OF THE RINGS.

Tolkien wrote THE HOBBIT and LORD OF THE RINGS unsure anyone would care about imagined worlds, invented languages, or lost legacies, but he was wrong — as so often geniuses are — as he went about laying the foundation for modern fantasy and escapist literature. He lassoed in a generation of readers all the while following his muse, regardless of later films that would only capture a shadow of his imaginative furnace.

Here’s to great muses and to love.

P.S. Tolkien’s latest book appears 45 years after his death. “The Fall of Gondolin.”

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