Tolkien bio by Humphrey Carpenter

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Tolkien bio by Humphrey Carpenter

Wed Jan 06, 2016 5:53 am

I recently reread Humphrey Carpenter's biography of Tolkien, which as I understand it was the first biography to be published. He met Tolkien a few times and was allowed access to Tolkien's materials by the family. Christopher Tolkien helped him out a lot and Carpenter became a friend of the family.

That biography was actually what introduced me to Middle-earth back in 1998 (...when I was 8 years old). My mom borrowed a copy from the library and read it to us. Even though it was a biography, even though I had never read the books before, the descriptions of Middle-earth and Tolkien's passion for the stories completely captured my imagination. As soon as we finished the bio, I took pencil and paper and began writing my first story: a heavily influenced fantasy that I never finished. But the seed had been planted. Then my brother and I borrowed Warner Bros animated Hobbit and Return of the King films, and we were hooked. Went wild for LoTR. Watched the Lord of the Rings film and loved it (rewatching it in the last decade severely dampened my happy memories) and started reading the books.

I could go on - but suffice to say we were huge fans by the time the movies came out, and I'm glad I had a vision of Middle-earth before the films. (Even though I loved the films.)

Anyone else read the Carpenter bio? Read any other bios you would recommend? I found the collected letters of Tolkien by Carpenter, and I plan to give that a read sometime soon.
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Re: Tolkien bio by Humphrey Carpenter

Wed Jan 06, 2016 6:51 am

I have been thinking of reading some Tolkien bio - thanks for a tip.

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