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J.R.R. Tolkien Trivia Quiz

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Grandfather

The Tolkien family came to England in the eighteenth century. John Tolkien, J.R.R. Tolkien’s grandfather, prospered at first but his business eventually collapsed, changing the course of life for his son, J.R.R. Tolkien’s father Arthur, causing him to leave England. What business had John Tolkien been in?

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Early years

J.R.R. Tolkien was born in 1892 in what was a part of the British Empire, but not in Britain itself. In what country did he spend his first few years?

Foreshadowing

When Tolkien was a toddler, an event occurred that would later find an echo in one of his most famous scenes. What happened?

Return to England

In the year of his father Arthur’s death, when J.R.R. Tolkien was only four years old, the family moved to Sarehole, a small village at the edge of the industrial city of Birmingham. How did Tolkien draw on his memories of Sarehole when inventing settings for his Middle Earth books?

Father Francis

In 1903, Tolkien and his brother Hilary were placed under the guardianship of Francis Morgan, a family friend who had an independent income from a family sherry importing business. What was Morgan’s occupation?

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Hard of speaking

Although Tolkien enjoyed acting and debating, and in time became a popular lecturer, his speech was indistinct and difficult to understand. He put this down to a physical cause. What was it?

Welcome to the club

While studying at Oxford for his undergraduate degree, Tolkien followed a pattern that would persist throughout his life by starting a small literary club for men. He called his club The Apolausticks, a word of Greek origin. What does it mean?

Elvenspeak

Tolkien devised entire fictional languages, called Quenya and Sindarin, for the elves of his stories set in Middle Earth. In designing them, Tolkien drew on features of real languages he first studied at Oxford. Which languages inspired Quenya and Sindarin, respectively?

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One small problem

When a teenage romance blossomed between Tolkien and Edith Bratt, Francis Morgan, who supported Tolkien financially, insisted they stop seeing each other. Nevertheless, immediately upon turning 21, Tolkien proposed marriage to Edith, only to be confronted by an obstacle to their union. What was it?

Fighting for England

Tolkien graduated in 1916, got married to Edith, then almost immediately began military service in France, fighting in the trenches during the Battle of the Somme. Though unhurt by bullet or bomb, he was sent home to England after less than five months. Why?

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