James's Reviews > J.R.R. Tolkien: A Biography

J.R.R. Tolkien by Humphrey Carpenter
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Jan 26, 11

Read from August 21, 2010 to January 22, 2011

I thought Humphrey Carpenter did a fantastic job of using the right combination of discussing Tolkien's life with his works Tolkien himself disapproved of any biography, because he thought it was used as a tool for literary appreciation.

Well, what appreciation I gained regarded Tolkien's perfectionism and painstaking research and detail. For example, he himself created the maps of Middle-earth and he went back many times during writing "The Lord of the Rings" to rewrite whole chapters.

The best parts of the book include the middle section in which Mr. Carpenter describes Tolkien's professional life, domestic life with his wife Edith, and his love of languages. The photos were fantastic to see, and Carpenter talks about these in this middle part. Of course, the later part was all about his creation of "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings" and the success and fame he gained from it--all covered expertly. I highly recommend this to anyone who is a J.R.R. Tolkien fan!
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