On January 3, 1892 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa. During his lifetime he became a master storyteller, completing many novels such as The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil; Ancrene Wisse, Sir Gawain, Sir Orfeo and The Pearl, Imram, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son, The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, Farmer Giles of Ham, Leaf by Niggle, and Smith of Wootton Major.
It wasn’t until after his death, on September 2, 1973, that many of his uncompleted works were published with the help of his son, Christopher Tolkien. Those works include The Silmarillion, The Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth, The Book of Lost Tales, and The Peoples of Middle-earth (also known as the History of Middle-earth).
In celebration of Tolkien’s birthday, each year The Tolkien Society holds a world wide toast to The Professor. In this year’s official press release it states,
“This is the 12th annual Birthday Toast and it will take place at 9pm (your local time)** on the 3rd January 2013. For Tolkien’s 121st birthday, the Tolkien Society is encouraging the public to read J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1937 book ‘The Hobbit’ in light of the monumental success of Sir Peter Jackson’s’ The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey’. This year’s Birthday Toast will tie together the man, the books and the films – the Society will be encouraging people to talk about all of these on Facebook, Twitter and on its website,www.tolkiensociety.org.”
Without Tolkien we would have no Bilbo or Frodo, no Gandalf or Aragorn, no Thorin and his company of dwarves to endlessly entertain our imaginations or inspire us. So, raise a glass with us, and the millions of fans around the world, and toast to The Professor!
Celebrating with a bit more flair? We want to know about! Tell us how by leaving a comment below.
Want to learn more about Tolkien’s life? Check out The Tolkien Society’s biography page: J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biographical Sketch.
** Note: We previously posted 9pm GMT (4pm EST), however, the toast is to take place at 9pm your local time. Sorry for the confusion, folks!