J.R.R. Tolkien

Humphrey Carpenter

Humphrey Carpenter was given unrestricted access to all Tolkien’s papers, and interviewed his friends and family. From these sources he follows the long and painful process of creation that produced THE LORD OF THE RINGS and THE SILMARILLION and offers a wealth of information about the life and work of the twentieth century’s most cherished author.

genre Biography
publisher Houghton Mifflin Company
publish date 1977
popularity checked out 2 time(s)


  • By Bill Svoboda -

    In the Author’s Note at the beginning of the book, Humphrey Carpenter mentions that the first published biography of a subject is not necessarily the best place to make literary judgements- fair enough. He also avoids spending much time analyzing or criticizing the whole phenomena that LOTR has become (in 1977 this was already huge, but had hardly reached it’s peak-both in terms of popularity and in over-all cultural influence). Respectful and well researched, this is a “must read” for Tolkien fans and/or those simply curious about J.R.R.

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