written by English philologist
and University of Oxford
professor J. R. R. Tolkien
. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit
(1937), but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during the Second World War. It is the third best-selling novel ever written, with over 150 million copies sold.
The prime motive was the desire of a tale-teller to try his hand at a really long story that would hold the attention of readers, amuse them, delight them, and at times maybe excite them or deeply move them.
Some who have read the book, or at any rate have reviewed it, have found it boring, absurd, or contemptible; and I have no cause to complain, since I have similar opinions of their works, or of the kinds of writing that they evidently prefer.
The most critical reader of all, myself, now finds many defects, minor and major, but being fortunately under no obligation either to review the book or to write it again, he will pass over these in silence, except one that has been noted by others: the book is too short.
I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done so since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence. I much prefer history, true or feigned, with its varied applicability to the thought and experience of readers. I think that many confuse 'applicability' with 'allegory'; but the one resides in the freedom of the reader, and the other in the purposed domination of the author.
J.R.R. Tolkien's epic trilogy remains the ultimate quest, the ultimate battle between good and evil, the ultimate chronicle of stewardship of the earth. Endlessly imitated, it never has been surpassed.
I wonder how could he have been able to invent all this stuff. It feels more like Tolkien discovered some sort of long-lost scrolls.