(Walk into room and sit down on chair)
Greetings ladies and gentlemen. My name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, but you may address me as Professor Tolkien.
I am a fantasy writer, one of the first I might add. I have written such books as Farmer Giles Of Ham, Leaf By Niggle and The Silmarillion, but my more famous books are The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.
Now, in this presentation, I would like to share the story of my life with you. You may be thinking, what is so special about me. What makes me stand out? Perhaps it is because that after more than 70 years, my books are still in print. Maybe it?s because I served in and lived through both world wars. It could also be because my books still appear on bestseller lists and that major motion pictures based on my best-known work are being released nationwide. All of that and more.
I was born on January 3 1892 in Bloemfontein, Africa. My parents were Arthur and Mabel Tolkien. At age one, I was bitten by a tarantula and almost died. My nanny saved my life by locating the bite and sucking out the venom. My younger brother Hilary was born February 17 1894. In April of 1895, my mother, Hilary and I sailed to England upon the S.S Guelph. A year later my father became ill and died.
I was an avid reader, but music was a blank area in my artistic tastes. In 1900 I started at King Edward?s school. When my family moved in 1902 I began to attend St. Phillips school. In 1903, I was awarded a scholarship and returned to King Edward?s. By age 11, I was able to speak English, French, Latin, German and Greek. My mother died in 1904 of diabetes and my brother and I were left on our own.
Later in my life, I attended Oxford University and was more than your typical average student. I joined the army and fell in love with Edith. I began studying ancient mythologies and languages. I learned Ancient languages such as Finnish and Norse. In the Autumn of 1914 I was sent of to battle. During that time I began to write a collection of poems. On march 22 1916 Edith and I were married. I began to fill a notebook with parts of stories, poems, sketches and passages, which later became The Silmarillion. The Silmarillion was a very personal book. I had poured all my thoughts and feelings into it.
In 1918 I left the army and began my career as an academic. That year I got a job working as a philologist for The New English Dictionary. I was told to research words under the letter W.
In 1925 I was appointed Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford University. I once said to my good friend C.S Lewis, ” If they do not write good books for us to read, then we shall have to write them ourselves.” With that in mind, I began to write The Hobbit. I created Middle-earth from the memories of my childhood. My initial inspiration for The Hobbit came when I was marking exam papers, I noticed a tiny hole in the carpet of my study near the leg of my desk. On the paper that I was marking I wrote a single sentence; In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit. From this sentence, a whole story grew, part of which I would like to read to you know. (Read from book)
In, 1937, The Hobbit was published by Stanley Unwin. My goal now was to write something much more than merely a squeal to The Hobbit. I began to write LOTR trilogy. The Hobbit only became a huge money maker after the success of LOTR. By the end of 1940 I was half was to finishing and in 1943 I began using The Silmarillion as a guide to my writing. I had finished the whole story by the end of 1947 and then I took whole years rewriting bits and pieces of it. LOTR was finally published in 1954 again by Stanley Unwin.
Now, I was determined to have The Silmarillion published. Stanley Unwin clearly stated that he had no interest in The Silmarillion. I would not take no for an answer. I decided that Stanley was no longer doing his job properly.
On November 29 1971 my dear Edith died of an inflamed gall bladder. My health had been failing for the past few years and I was becoming weaker day by day. In August 1973 I traveled to Bournemouth to visit some friends of mine. (lie down on table while saying next sentence) I was rushed to the hospital the next morning. On September 2 1973 I passed away.
My influence can be seen in Star Trek, Star Wars and Harry Potter. The Silmarillion was completed by my son Christopher and published in 1977.
My books have outsold every other fictional work. I have inspired thousands of people. Many people say that I didn?t just create a fantasy, I created a reality.
Before I leave, I would like to thank you for listening to my presentation, I hope I have inspired you all. Also, it would be my pleasure to answer any questions that you might have. (answer Qs)
Thank you for attending this presentation. I hope that you will walk away from this having been inspired to do something good with your lives. Farewell.