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UK News Christopher Tolkien, Keeper of His Father’s Legacy, Dies at 95

04:15  17 january  2020
04:15  17 january  2020 Source:   msn.com

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Like his father , an Oxford linguist, Mr. Tolkien spent much of his life devoted to, and surrounded by, books. Both men were scholars of Old and Middle English and both lectured But even as Mr. Tolkien burnished his father ’ s legacy and brought it into the 21st century, he could be intensely protective of it.

Due to his father ’ s prolific output, Tolkien would edit many of his unfinished works and ensure they saw the light of day, publishing some two dozen books after he passed. Tragic news, Christopher Tolkien , third and last surviving son of the legendary J. R. R. Tolkien , has died at 95 .

a person sitting on a table: Christopher Tolkien at his home in the South of France one week before his 95th birthday last year. For nearly 50 years after his father died in 1973, he worked to keep alive the world he had created. © Josh Dolgin Christopher Tolkien at his home in the South of France one week before his 95th birthday last year. For nearly 50 years after his father died in 1973, he worked to keep alive the world he had created.

Christopher Tolkien, the son of the writer J.R.R. Tolkien, who guarded his legacy and brought forth monumental posthumous works, like “The Silmarillion,” based on his father’s writings, died on Wednesday in Provence, France. He was 95.

His death was confirmed by Daniel Klass, his brother-in-law.

Undated handout photo issued by the University of Leeds, of JRR Tolkien. © University of Leeds/PA Media Undated handout photo issued by the University of Leeds, of JRR Tolkien.

For nearly 50 years after his father died in 1973, Mr. Tolkien worked to keep alive the world he had created in “The Hobbit” (1937) and “The Lord of the Rings” (1949) — the spiders of Mirkwood, the Eye of Mordor, the elves of Rivendell and thousands of pages’ worth of other characters, places and plot twists. In all, he edited or oversaw the publication of two dozen editions of his father’s works, many of which became international best sellers.

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Youngest son of Lord of the Rings author was responsible for editing and publishing much of his father ’ s work.

Christopher John Reuel Tolkien (21 November 1924 – 15 January 2020) was the third son of the author J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973)

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Mr. Tolkien was his father’s literary executor but played a far more expansive role than that title usually implies. While the elder Tolkien was writing “The Lord of the Rings,” he was also creating a vast world of legends and mythologies that he hoped would accompany the book. But he was a notorious perfectionist and was never able to put this work in publishable form before he died.

His son spent four years organizing and compiling those myths and legends, publishing them in 1977 as “The Silmarillion.”

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“This opened up a wealth and depth of Tolkien’s imaginative world that was breathtaking,” Corey Olsen, a Tolkien expert, said in an interview.

But Tolkien fans and scholars wondered how much of “The Silmarillion” was the work of the father and how much was the work of the son, said Mr. Olsen, the president of the American online university Signum, which specializes in Tolkien studies.

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Christopher continued his father ' s work after his death and was an accomplished author in his own right. He has been credited with keeping his father ' s legacy The Tolkien Society, which promotes the life and works of the revered fantasy writer, said: " Christopher Tolkien has died at the age of 95 .

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In response, Christopher produced the 12-volume “The History of Middle-earth” (1996), a compilation of drafts, fragments, rewrites, marginal notes and other writings culled from 70 boxes of unpublished material. It showed that virtually everything he had published had come from his father’s hand.

LONDON - MAY 28:  In the foreground the original artwork for the cover of the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien as Oxonians and press attend the Oxford University launch of a GBP 1.25 billion campaign at the British Academy on May 28, 2008 in London, England. The launch of Oxford University's most important campaign which has the theme 'Oxford Thinking', was attended by Richard Dawkins, Sir Roger Bannister and Michael Palin among other Oxonians.  (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images) © 2008 Getty Images LONDON - MAY 28: In the foreground the original artwork for the cover of the Hobbit by JRR Tolkien as Oxonians and press attend the Oxford University launch of a GBP 1.25 billion campaign at the British Academy on May 28, 2008 in London, England. The launch of Oxford University's most important campaign which has the theme 'Oxford Thinking', was attended by Richard Dawkins, Sir Roger Bannister and Michael Palin among other Oxonians. (Photo by Cate Gillon/Getty Images)

“Christopher showed how his father’s ideas grew and developed over time,” Mr. Olsen said. The volumes did not just reveal J.R.R. Tolkien’s mind at work, he said; they also provided a case study in the creative process.

Christopher Tolkien is also credited with creating the widely acclaimed 1954 map of Middle-earth, the land in which the sprawling stories were set; a copy is now held by the British Library.

“Without Christopher,” Thomas Shippey, a British professor who has been writing and lecturing on Tolkien for 50 years, said in an interview, “we would have very little knowledge of how Tolkien created his mythology and his own legendarium.”

JRR Tolkein Home goes up for sale.The house in a leafy corner of north Oxford is set to go on the market this week,. .and,is where the author is believed to have written The Hobbit, and begun the Lord of the rings. See PA STORY SOCIAL Tolkein : PA photo **HANDOUT CARTER JONAS LLP** © PA JRR Tolkein Home goes up for sale.The house in a leafy corner of north Oxford is set to go on the market this week,. .and,is where the author is believed to have written The Hobbit, and begun the Lord of the rings. See PA STORY SOCIAL Tolkein : PA photo **HANDOUT CARTER JONAS LLP**

Like his father, an Oxford linguist, Mr. Tolkien spent much of his life devoted to books, and surrounded by them. Both men were scholars of Old and Middle English, and both lectured at Oxford. But while the elder Tolkien was a specialist in Chaucer and Anglo-Saxon sagas, the younger was an authority, above all, on the reams of writing that his father produced.

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Christopher Tolkien , who edited and published the posthumous works of his father , Lord of the Rings writer JRR Tolkien , has died aged 95 . The news was confirmed by the Tolkien Society, which described him as "Middle-earth's first scholar". After his father ' s death in 1973, Mr Tolkien published

After Tolkien 's death, his son Christopher published a series of works based on his father ' s extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion. These, together with The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, form a connected body of tales, poems, fictional histories, invented languages

“He has been treating this extraordinary archive as if it had been discovered in a sealed tomb,” the Houghton Mifflin editor Austin Olney said after meeting Mr. Tolkien at his home in England. By then, almost a million hardcover copies of “The Silmarillion” had been published, and several more books were about to emerge from the vault.

His brother-in-law, Mr. Klass, described Mr. Tolkien as extraordinarily disciplined. He said he would lock himself in his office early in the morning and not emerge until lunchtime.

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: A carving adorns a fallen tree at Moseley Bog, believed to be the inspiration for Tolkien's ancient forests in his books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit on January 03, 2019 in Birmingham, England. Moseley Bog is a nature reserve in the Moseley area of Birmingham and is close to the childhood home of the author J.R.R. Tolkien . The ancient woodland surrounding the bog was his inspiration to create the ancient forests in his books, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien was born 127 years ago today, January 3, 1892. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) © 2019 Getty Images BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND - JANUARY 03: A carving adorns a fallen tree at Moseley Bog, believed to be the inspiration for Tolkien's ancient forests in his books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit on January 03, 2019 in Birmingham, England. Moseley Bog is a nature reserve in the Moseley area of Birmingham and is close to the childhood home of the author J.R.R. Tolkien . The ancient woodland surrounding the bog was his inspiration to create the ancient forests in his books, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien was born 127 years ago today, January 3, 1892. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

“His life’s work was to convert this huge mass of material written on envelopes and napkins in his father’s unreadable handwriting,” Mr. Klass said.

Tolkien fans responded on social media to the news of Mr. Tolkien’s death with an outpouring of emotion.

“Takes a humble man to dedicate his life to someone else’s work,” one person wrote on Twitter. “I think of all the books that might never have been published without Christopher’s input. Some of those books define how we now view the professor’s legacy.”

A first edition of The Two Towers, the second part of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is displayed inside the British Library in north London. The British Library are holding a display of Tolkien memorabilia which will run until the end of January, 2002. Read less © Johnny Green/PA Archive/PA Images A first edition of The Two Towers, the second part of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings trilogy is displayed inside the British Library in north London. The British Library are holding a display of Tolkien memorabilia which will run until the end of January, 2002. Read less

Christopher Tolkien was born in Leeds, England, on Nov. 21, 1924, the third and youngest son of J.R.R. and Edith Mary (Bratt) Tolkien.

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7. Christopher Tolkien , the son of J.R.R. Tolkien who guarded the legacy of “The Lord of the Rings,” has died at 95 . After his father died in 1973, Mr Thanks to surviving landmarks and an impressive museum exhibit that recreates one of his old flats, London offers a lot to Hendrix fans, 50 years since

For a time he was a sickly child and often stayed at home, giving him and his father a chance to develop a close working relationship. The writer often read to his son, and the son offered encouragement and soon became his father’s assistant and one of his earliest readers.

Christopher Tolkien once said that he grew up in the world his father had created. “For me,” he said, “the cities of ‘The Silmarillion’ are more real than Babylon.”

During World War II, when Christopher was serving with the Royal Air Force in South Africa, his father mailed him parts of “The Lord of the Rings” for comment and editing.

Though the tales of Middle-earth waxed and waned in popularity, they were all but cemented in popular culture in the 2000s, with film adaptations that garnered Academy Awards and hundreds of millions of dollars in revenues. Those movies were not the first adaptations, but they helped bring the stories to a new audience. And their success has in part inspired a forthcoming series on Amazon — the rights to which reportedly cost $200 million.

Even as Mr. Tolkien burnished his father’s legacy and brought it into the 21st century, he could be intensely protective of it. In 2012, the Tolkien estate filed an $80 million lawsuit against Warner Bros. over the digital merchandising of characters from “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit.” The suit accused the company of causing harm to the Tolkien legacy. It was eventually settled on undisclosed terms.

Last year, the Tolkien estate disavowed a film based on J.R.R. Tolkien’s life and experiences in World War I, saying the family did “not approve of, authorize or participate” in the project.

A footpath through Moseley Bog, believed to be the inspiration for Tolkien's ancient forests in his books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit on January 03, 2019 in Birmingham, England. Moseley Bog is a nature reserve in the Moseley area of Birmingham and is close to the childhood home of the author J.R.R. Tolkien . The ancient woodland surrounding the bog was his inspiration to create the ancient forests in his books, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien was born 127 years ago today, January 3, 1892. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images) © Getty A footpath through Moseley Bog, believed to be the inspiration for Tolkien's ancient forests in his books The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit on January 03, 2019 in Birmingham, England. Moseley Bog is a nature reserve in the Moseley area of Birmingham and is close to the childhood home of the author J.R.R. Tolkien . The ancient woodland surrounding the bog was his inspiration to create the ancient forests in his books, The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien was born 127 years ago today, January 3, 1892. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

In his later years Mr. Tolkien became a French citizen and lived a private life with his second wife, Baillie Tolkien, in the foothills of the Alps in southeastern France.

In addition to Ms. Tolkien, survivors include his sister Priscilla and three children, Simon, Adam and Rachel.

Despite the voluminous amount of unpublished work that Mr. Tolkien brought to light, some Tolkien enthusiasts hoped there might still be more.

“While Tolkien was very poor at finishing things, he also never threw anything away, so we don’t know what’s still unpublished,” Mr. Shippey, the British scholar, said. “There may be some surprises yet.”

Emily S. Rueb contributed reporting, and Alain Delaquérière contributed research.

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