Quotes

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (3 January 1892 – 2 September 1973) was an English writer, poet, philologist, and university professor, best known as the author of the classic high fantasy works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Tolkien was Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford from 1925 to 1945, and Merton Professor of English Language and Literature from 1945 to 1959. He was a close friend of C. S. Lewis – they were both members of the informal literary discussion group known as the Inklings. Tolkien was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on 28 March 1972.

After his death, Tolkien's son, Christopher, published a series of works based on his father's extensive notes and unpublished manuscripts, including The Silmarillion.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, and literary essays about an imagined world called Arda, and Middle-earth within it. Between 1951 and 1955 Tolkien applied the word legendarium to the larger part of these writings.

While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings when they were published in paperback in the United States led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre. This has caused Tolkien to be popularly identified as the "father" of modern fantasy literature — or more precisely, high fantasy. Tolkien's writings have inspired many other works of fantasy and have had a lasting effect on the entire field. In 2008, The Times ranked him sixth on a list of 'The 50 greatest British writers since 1945'.

1. Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger.

2. Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.

3. I cordially dislike allegory in all its manifestations, and always have done since I grew old and wary enough to detect its presence.

4. If more of us valued food and cheer and song above hoarded gold, it would be a merrier world.

5. It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish.

6. Little by little, one travels far.

7. The Hobbits are just rustic English people, made small in size because it reflects the generally small reach of their imagination.

8. Nearly all marriages, even happy ones, are mistakes: in the sense that almost certainly (in a more perfect world, or even with a little more care in this very imperfect one) both partners might be found more suitable mates. But the real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.

9. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.

10. I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

11. It's a dangerous business going out your front door.

12. All that is gold does not glitter; not all those that wander are lost.

13. Many that live deserve death. And some die that deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then be not too eager to deal out death in the name of justice, fearing for your own safety. Even the wise cannot see all ends.

14. 'I wish life was not so short,' he thought. 'Languages take such a time, and so do all the things one wants to know about.'

15. I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.

16. Courage is found in unlikely places.

17. Advice is a dangerous gift, even from the wise to the wise, and all courses may run ill.

18. The world changes, and all that once was strong now proves unsure.

19. The world has changed. I see it in the water. I feel it in the Earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was is lost, for none now live who remember it.

20. With hope or without hope we will follow the trail of our enemies. And woe to them, if we prove the swifter!

21. Few can foresee whither their road will lead them, till they come to its end.

22. It's wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.

23. He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.

24. The deeds will not be less valiant because they are unpraised.

25. All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; renenwed shall be blade that was broken, the crownless again shall be king.

26. I do not love the bright sword for it's sharpness, nor the arrow for it's swiftness, nor the warrior for his glory. I love only that which they defend.

27. The wise speak only of what they know.

28. You can only come to the morning through the shadows.

29. The burned hand teaches best.

30. It must often be so, when things are in danger: someone has to give them up, lose them, so that others may keep them.

31. It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him.

32. Deep roots are not reached by frost.

33. To crooked eyes truth may wear a wry face.

34. The world is full enough of hurts and mischance without wars to multiply them.

35. The Road goes ever on and on down from the door where it began. Now far ahead the Road has gone, and I must follow, if I can, pursuing it with eager feet, until it joins some larger way where many paths and errands meet. And whither then? I cannot say.

36. The wide world is all about you; you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.

37. The wolf that one hears is worse than the orc that one fears.

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