Christopher John Reuel Tolkien (born 21 November, 1924) is the third child and youngest son of J.R.R. Tolkien and Edith Tolkien. He is the literary executor of the Tolkien Estate and has edited much of his father's work for posthumous publication.
Christopher Tolkien was named after his father's friend, Christopher Wiseman (he also sometimes uses his confirmation name, "John" as seen on his initials of maps of The Lord of the Rings, "CJRT").
Born in Leeds and raised in Oxford, Christopher went to the Dragon School in Oxford and Oratory School in Caversham, Berkshire. Due to a heart ailment, he was forced to stay at home and work with a private tutor. He enjoyed watching stars with a telescope as well as a passion for railways. As early as age four and five, Christopher was concerned with the consistency of The Hobbit.
Last time, you said Bilbo's front door was blue, and you said Thorin had a golden tassel on his hood, but you've just said that Bilbo's front door was green and that Thorin's hood was silver
—Christopher Tolkien, foreword to The Hobbit
Christopher proved invaluable in correcting The Hobbit after its publication and was paid twopence a correction.
In July of 1943 he entered the Royal Air Force and in November of that year he went to South Africa to train as a pilot. His absence did not however slow his contributions to his father's works as his father continually sent him parts of The Lord of the Rings to go over. In 1945 he returned to England and was stationed in Shropshire and later that year he returned to Oxford.
On October 9th, 1945 his father informed him that the Inklings wished to consider him a permanent member. The task of reading The Lord of the Rings to the Inklings was passed on to Christopher and it was generally agreed that he was a better reader than his father.
In 1954-55 Christopher was delegated the re-drawing of his father's Lord of the Rings maps for publication.
In 1946 Christopher returned to Trinity College to resume his studies and reading English. For a while his tutor was C.S. Lewis. His thesis was a translation of The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise and he received his B.A. in 1949. Christopher also became a lecturer in Old and Middle English as well as Old Icelandic at Oxford. He worked as an editor on Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, the Pardoner's Tale, and the Nun's Priest's Tale. From 1963 to 1975 he was a Fellow of New College, Oxford but resigned when he began to devote his time to his father's literary affairs, and soon afterward moved with his family to southern France.
After his father's death
After his father's death, Christopher embarked on organizing the masses of his father's notes, some of them written on odd scraps of paper a half-century earlier. Much of the material was handwritten, frequently a fair draft was written over a half-erased first draft, and names of characters routinely changed between the beginning and end of the same draft. Deciphering this was an arduous task, and perhaps only someone with personal experience of J.R.R. and the evolution of his stories could have made any sense of it; even so, Christopher has admitted to having to occasionally guess at what his father intended.
With the help of Guy Gavriel Kay he managed to compile The Silmarillion in only four years. During this time he also edited his father's translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Sir Orfeo. He also worked on the Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings which was first published in 1975 as Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings in A Tolkien Compass.
Christopher spent the years after continuing to study his father's works and taking the responsibilities of the Tolkien Estate. He recorded portions of The Silmarillion in 1977 and 1978 which was issued by Caedmon Records, New York. In 1979 he wrote about his father's illustrations and drawings for their publication in Tolkien calendars and Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien. Through 1980 and 1983 Christopher edited Unfinished Tales, The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien, The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays, and The Book of Lost Tales Part One which was the first volume in his twelve volume series of The History of Middle-earth, the last of which was published in 1996. In 1998 he edited a new edition of Tree and Leaf including the poem Mythopoeia. In 2007, he edited The Children of Húrin. His latest publications have been the editing of The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (2009), The Fall of Arthur (2013), and Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary (2014).
In 2016, Christopher Tolkien was awarded the Bodley Medal, the Bodleian Libraries' highest honour, for his "editorial work on his father's manuscripts" and his "academic career at the University of Oxford".
In August 2017, Christopher Tolkien resigned from his appointment as director of the Tolkien Estate.
Response to adaptations
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...I recognize that this is a debatable and complex question of art, and the suggestions that have been made that I 'disapprove' of the films, whatever their cinematic quality, even to the extent of thinking ill of those with whom I may differ, are wholly without foundation.
Christopher's first wife, Faith (1928) took an English degree at Oxford and they had one son, Simon Tolkien. A bust of Tolkien by Faith was exhibited at the Royal Academy: Tolkien paid for its casting in bronze. It is now in the English Library in Oxford.
Christopher's second wife, Baillie (1941) is Canadian, and is the daughter of Winnipeg surgeon Alan Klass, and Helen Klass (née Jacob). She has a BA in English from the University of Manitoba and an MA from Oxford. She worked as J.R.R. Tolkien's secretary and was responsible for the section on poetry in the 1965 index to The Lord of the Rings. She later edited The Father Christmas Letters. She and Christopher have two children, Adam Tolkien and Rachel Tolkien.
- 195?: Tolkien Hervarar Saga ok Heidreks Konungs. C.J.R. Tolkien (Oxford University, Trinity College). B. Litt. thesis. 1953/4. [Year uncertain]
- 1956: Hervarar Saga ok Heidreks. Ed. [E.O.] G. Turville-Petre. London: University College London, for the Viking Society for Northern Research, 1956; introduction by Christopher Tolkien.
- 1958: The Pardoner's Tale. Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Nevill Coghill and Christopher Tolkien. London: George G. Harrap, 1958. [29 Oct 58]
- 1959: The Nun's Priest's Tale. Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Nevill Coghill and Christopher Tolkien. London: George G. Harrap, 1959. [28 Feb 60]
- 1960: The Saga of King Heidrek the Wise. Ed. and trans. Christopher Tolkien. London: Thomas Nelson & Sons (Icelandic Texts), 1960. [30 Jun 60]
- 1969: The Man of Law's Tale. Geoffrey Chaucer, ed. Nevill Coghill and Christopher Tolkien. London: George G. Harrap, 1969. [Jun 69]
- 1975: Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo (editor)
- 1977: The Silmarillion (editor)
- 1979: Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien (editor)
- 1980: Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth (editor)
- 1981: The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien (editor with Humphrey Carpenter)
- 1983: The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays (editor)
- 1983: The Book of Lost Tales Part One (editor)
- 1984: The Book of Lost Tales Part Two (editor)
- 1985: The Lays of Beleriand (editor)
- 1986: The Shaping of Middle-earth (editor)
- 1987: The Lost Road and Other Writings (editor)
- 1988: Tree and Leaf (editor)
- 1988: The Return of the Shadow (editor)
- 1989: The Treason of Isengard (editor)
- 1990: The War of the Ring (editor)
- 1992: Sauron Defeated (editor)
- 1993: Morgoth's Ring (editor)
- 1994: The War of the Jewels (editor)
- 1996: The Peoples of Middle-earth (editor)
- 2007: The Children of Húrin (editor)
- 2009: The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (editor)
- 2013: The Fall of Arthur (editor)
- 2014: Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary (editor)
- 2017: Beren and Lúthien (editor)
- 1955-6: Saga-Book (University College, London, for the Viking Society for Northern Research) 14, part 3 (1955-6), pp. -63.
- "The Battle of the Goths and the Huns"
- 1975: A Tolkien Compass
- 1975: Les aventures de Tom Bombadil
- [Handwritten note by Christopher Tolkien, dated March 1974, introducing two pages of script by J.R.R. Tolkien]
- 1980: Mallorn 14
- "The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien: A brief account of the book and its making"
- 1982: Quettar 13, Feb. 1982, pp. 8-9
- "The Tengwar Numerals". Christopher Tolkien ('CRT after JRRT'); rptd. Beyond Bree Dec. 1984, p. 1. Further, untitled, explanation of Tengwar numerals by Christopher Tolkien ('CRT after JRRT 10 March 1982'), in Quettar 14, May 1982, pp. 6-7.
- 1983: Amon Hen 63, August 1983, p. 4
- "...Future Publishing". Reproduced as 'Statement by Christopher Tolkien' in Beyond Bree, November 1983, p. 2.
- 1984: Amon Hen 70, November 1984, p.3.
- "'Moria Gate' ... Another Look"
- 1986: Beyond Bree July 1986, pp. 1-3
- "Notes on the Differences in editions of The Hobbit cited by Mr. David Cofield"
- 1987: The Hobbit. J.R.R. Tolkien. London: Unwin Hyman, 1987; fiftieth anniversary edition.
- 1988: Beyond Bree, August 1988, pp. 1-2
- "The BBC Pronunciation Guide to The Lord of the Rings". Nancy Martsch. [About the transcription of Christopher Tolkien's recording of words and names in The Lord of the Rings for the BBC production by Brian Sibley.]
- 1994: The Lord of the Rings, (1994 edition by HarperCollins Publishers, p.1140 of the one-volume edition)
- 2012: Le Monde, 5 July
- 2016: The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun
- 1976: The Lord of the Rings 1977 Calendar. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1976. Notes on the Pictures by Christopher Tolkien.
- 1976: Catalogue of an Exhibition of Drawings by J.R.R. Tolkien at the Ashmolean Museum Oxford ... Oxford: The Ashmolean Museum, 1976. Introduction by Baillie Tolkien. [?14 Dec 76]
- 1977: The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien: A Brief Account of the Book and its Making (pamphlet)
- 1977: The Silmarillion Calendar 1978. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1977. Notes on the Pictures by Christopher Tolkien.
- 1978: J.R.R. Tolkien Calendar 1979. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978. Notes on the Pictures by Christopher Tolkien.
- 1978: Map of Beleriand and the Lands to the North [poster]. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1978. As drawn by Christopher Tolkien for The Silmarillion, with colouring by H.E. Riddett.
- 1980: Letter from Christopher Tolkien to Jared Lobdell, 21 June 1974, reproduced in: Eorclanstanar [Precious Stones] or The Hobbitiana: an offering of rarities by J.R.R. Tolkien [catalogue]. Melissa and Mark Hime [booksellers]. Idyllwild, California: 1980.
- 1977: J.R.R. Tolkien: The Silmarillion: Of Beren and Luthien, read by Christopher Tolkien. New York: Caedmon Records TC1564, 1977. Sleeve notes by Christopher Tolkien. (Sleeve also has photo of CT.)
- 1978: J.R.R. Tolkien: Of the Darkening of Valinor, and Of the Flight of the Noldor, from The Silmarillion, read by Christopher Tolkien. New York: Caedmon Records TC 1579, 1978. Sleeve notes by Christopher Tolkien. (Sleeve also has photo of CT.)
- 1992:The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son, Read by J.R.R.Tolkien and Christopher Tolkien, HarperCollins Audiobooks.
- 2007: The Children of Húrin Audiobook, Preface and introduction Read by Christopher Tolkien. HarperCollins Audiobooks.
- ↑ "History of Middle-earth", Tolkien.co.uk (accessed 18 November 2012)
- ↑ "Editor and Scholar Christopher Tolkien awarded Bodley Medal" dated 3 November 2016, bodleian.ox.ac.uk (accessed 6 November 2016)
- ↑ "The Tolkien Estate Limited, Officers", Companies House (accessed 14 November 2017)
- ↑ "Christopher Tolkien deixa Tolkien Estate", Tolkien Brasil (accessed 15 November 2017)
Categories: Authors | Articles needing expansion | British people | Cartographers | Inklings | Letter receivers | People by name | Tolkien Family
This is a list of the writings of the English writer and philologist J. R. R. Tolkien.
- 1937 The Hobbit or There and Back Again, ISBN 0-618-00221-9 (HM).
- 1945 Leaf by Niggle (short story)
- 1945 The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, published in Welsh Review
- 1949 Farmer Giles of Ham (mediaeval fable)
- 1953 The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son (a play written in alliterative verse), published with the accompanying essays Beorhtnoth's Death and Ofermod, in Essays and Studies by members of the English Association, volume 6.
- The Lord of the Rings
- 1962 The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book
- 1964 Tree and Leaf (On Fairy-Stories and Leaf by Niggle in book form)
- 1966 The Tolkien Reader (The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son, On Fairy-Stories, Leaf by Niggle, Farmer Giles of Ham, and The Adventures of Tom Bombadil)
- 1967 The Road Goes Ever On, with Donald Swann
- 1967 Smith of Wootton Major (short story)
Unless stated otherwise, the years indicate the date of composition.
- The Battle of the Eastern Field 1911
- From the many-willow'd margin of the immemorial Thames 1913
- The Voyage of Eärendel the Evening Star (The Book of Lost Tales 2 267–269) 1914
- The Bidding of the Minstrel 1914 (The Book of Lost Tales 2 261f.,269f. )
- Tinfang Warble 1914 (The Book of Lost Tales 1 107f.)
- Goblin Feet 1915
- You and Me / and the Cottage of Lost Play 1915 (The Book of Lost Tales 1 27f.)
- Kôr 1915, published as The City of the Gods in 1923 (The Book of Lost Tales 1 136)
- Kortirion among the Trees 1915 (revised in 1937 and in the 1960s, The Trees of Kortirion)
- Over Old Hills and Far Away 1915
- A Song of Aryador 1915
- The Shores of Elfland 1915
- Habbanan beneath the Stars 1916
- The Sorrowful City 1916
- The Song of Eriol 1917 (The Book of Lost Tales 2 298ff.)
- The Horns of Ulmo 1917
- The Happy Mariners, published in 1920, composed in 1915
- The Children of Húrin (begun in 1920 or earlier, continued to 1925) (The Lays of Beleriand)
- The Clerke's Compleinte 1922
- Iúmonna Gold Galdre Bewunden 1923
- The Eadigan Saelidan 1923
- Why the Man in the Moon Came Down Too Soon 1923
- Enigmata Saxonic - a Nuper Inventa Duo 1923
- The Cat and the Fiddle: A Nursery-Rhyme Undone and its Scandalous Secret Unlocked 1923
- An Evening in Tavrobel 1924
- The Lonely Isle 1924
- The Princess Ni 1924
- Light as Leaf on Lindentree 1925
- The Flight of the Noldoli from Valinor 1925 (The Lays of Beleriand)
- The Lay of Leithian 1925–1931 (The Lays of Beleriand)
- The Lay of Eärendel 1920s (The Lays of Beleriand)
- The Nameless Land 1926
- Adventures in Unnatural History and Mediaeval Metres, being the Freaks of Fisiologus 1927:
- Bagme Bloma
- Éadig Béo þu!
- Frenchmen Froth
- From One to Five
- I Sat upon a Bench
- Ides Ælfscýne
- La Húru
- Lit and Lang
- Natura Apis: Morali Ricardi Eremite
- Ofer Wídne Gársecg
- The Root of the Boot
- Ruddoc Hana
- Syx Mynet
- The Dragon's Visit 1937
- Knocking at the Door: Lines induced by sensations when waiting for an answer at the door of an Exalted Academic Person 1937
- The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, published in Welsh Review, December 1945
- Imram (The Death of St. Brendan) 1946 (published in Time and Tide, December 1955, Sauron Defeated 261ff,296ff)
- Elvish translations of Catholic prayers (ed. Wynne, Smith, Hostetter in Vinyar Tengwar 43, 44, 2002), composed in the 1950s:
Academic and other works
- 1922 A Middle English Vocabulary, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 168 pp.
- 1925 Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, co-edited with E.V. Gordon, Oxford University Press, 211 pp.; Revised edition 1967, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 232 pp.
- 1925 Some Contributions to Middle-English Lexicography, published in The Review of English Studies, volume 1, no. 2, pp. 210–215.
- 1925 The Devil's Coach Horses, published in The Review of English Studies, volume 1, no. 3, pp. 331–336.
- 1929 Ancrene Wisse and Hali Meiðhad, published in Essays and Studies by members of the English Association, Oxford, volume 14, pp. 104–126.
- 1932 The Name 'Nodens', concerning the name Nodens, published in Report on the Excavation of the Prehistoric, Roman, and Post-Roman Site in Lydney Park, Gloucestershire, Oxford, University Press for The Society of Antiquaries.
- 1932–34 Sigelwara Land parts I and II, in Medium Aevum, Oxford, volume 1, no. 3 (December 1932), pp. 183–196 and volume 3, no. 2 (June 1934), pp. 95–111.
- 1934 Chaucer as a Philologist: The Reeve's Tale, in Transactions of the Philological Society, London, pp. 1–70 (rediscovery of dialect humour, introducing the Hengwrt manuscript into textual criticism of Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales)
- 1937 Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics, London, Humphrey Milford, 56 pp. (publication of his 1936 lecture on Beowulf criticism)
- 1939 The Reeve's Tale: version prepared for recitation at the 'summer diversions', Oxford, 14 pp.
- 1939 On Fairy-Stories (1939 Andrew Lang lecture) - concerning Tolkien's philosophy on fantasy, this lecture was a shortened version of an essay later published in full in 1947.
- 1944 Sir Orfeo, Oxford, The Academic Copying Office, 18 pp. (an edition of the mediaeval poem)
- 1947 On Fairy-Stories (essay - published in Essays presented to Charles Williams, Oxford University Press) - first full publication of an essay concerning Tolkien's philosophy on fantasy, and which had been presented in shortened form as the 1939 Andrew Lang lecture.
- 1953 Ofermod and Beorhtnoth's Death, two essays published with the poem The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorhthelm's Son in Essays and Studies by members of the English Association, volume 6.
- 1953 Middle English "Losenger": Sketch of an etymological and semantic enquiry, published in Essais de philologie moderne: Communications présentées au Congrès International de Philologie Moderne (1951), Les Belles Lettres.
- 1958 The Old English Apollonius of Tyre, Oxford University Press - editorial prefatory note
- 1962 Ancrene Wisse: The English Text of the Ancrene Riwle, Early English Text Society, Oxford University Press.
- 1963 English and Welsh, in Angles and Britons: O'Donnell Lectures, University of Cardiff Press.
- 1964 Introduction to Tree and Leaf, with details of the composition and history of Leaf by Niggle and On Fairy-Stories.
- 1966 Contributions to the Jerusalem Bible (as translator and lexicographer)
- 1966 Foreword to the Second Edition of The Lord of the Rings, with Tolkien's comments on the varied reaction to his work, his motivation for writing the work, and his opinion of allegory.
- 1966 Tolkien on Tolkien (autobiographical)
For essays and text fragments by Tolkien published posthumously in academic publications and forums, see Tolkien research.
- 1975 Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings (edited version) - published in A Tolkien Compass by Jared Lobdell. Written by Tolkien for use by translators of The Lord of the Rings, a full version, re-titled "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings," was published in 2005 in The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina ScullISBN 0-618-64267-6.
- 1975 Translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo
- 1976 The Father Christmas Letters
- 1977 The SilmarillionISBN 0-618-12698-8 (HM).
- 1979 Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien, George Allen & Unwin, ISBN 0047410035.
- 1980 Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earthISBN 0-618-15405-1 (HM).
- 1980 Poems and Stories (a compilation of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son, On Fairy-Stories, Leaf by Niggle, Farmer Giles of Ham and Smith of Wootton Major)
- 1981 The Letters of J. R. R. Tolkien (eds. Christopher Tolkien and Humphrey Carpenter)
- 1981 The Old English "Exodus" Text translation and commentary by J. R. R. Tolkien; edited by Joan Turville-Petre. Clarendon Press, Oxford
- 1982 Finn and Hengest: The Fragment and the Episode
- 1982 Mr. Bliss
- 1983 The Monsters and the Critics (an essay collection)
- 1983–1996 The History of Middle-earth:
- The Book of Lost Tales 1 (1983)
- The Book of Lost Tales 2 (1984)
- The Lays of Beleriand (1985)
- The Shaping of Middle-earth (1986)
- The Lost Road and Other Writings (1987)
- The Return of the Shadow (The History of The Lord of the Rings vol. 1) (1988)
- The Treason of Isengard (The History of The Lord of the Rings vol. 2) (1989)
- The War of the Ring (The History of The Lord of the Rings vol. 3) (1990)
- Sauron Defeated (The History of The Lord of the Rings vol. 4, including The Notion Club Papers) (1992)
- Morgoth's Ring (The Later Silmarillion vol. 1) (1993)
- The War of the Jewels (The Later Silmarillion vol. 2) (1994)
- The Peoples of Middle-earth (1996)
- 1995 J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator - a compilation of Tolkien's art
- 1998 Roverandom
- 2002 A Tolkien Miscellany - a collection of previously published material
- 2002 Beowulf and the Critics ed. Michael D.C. Drout (Beowulf: the monsters and the critics together with editions of two drafts of the longer essay from which it was condensed.)
- 2005 Guide to the Names in The Lord of the Rings (full version) - published in The Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina ScullISBN 0-618-64267-6. Re-titled to "Nomenclature of The Lord of the Rings" in this book. Written by Tolkien for use by translators of The Lord of the Rings, an edited version had been published in 1975 in A Tolkien Compass by Jared Lobdell.
- 2007 The Children of Húrin
- 2007 The History of The Hobbit by John D. Rateliff – contains substantial text fragments
- 2008 Tales from the Perilous Realm (a compilation of Roverandom, Farmer Giles of Ham, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, Leaf by Niggle and Smith of Wootton Major)
- 2009 The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún
- 2013 The Fall of Arthur (a narrative poem about King Arthur of Britain)
- 2014 Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary (ed. Christopher Tolkien, also includes previously unpublished short fiction "Sellic Spell")
- 2015 The Story of Kullervo (ed. Verlyn Flieger) 
- 2016 A Secret Vice
- 2016 The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun, published in Welsh Review
- 2017 Beren and Lúthien
- 1967 Poems and Songs of Middle-earth, Caedmon TC 1231
- 1975 J. R. R. Tolkien Reads and Sings his The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings, Caedmon TC 1477, TC 1478 (based on an August, 1952 recording by George Sayer)