JRR Tolkien Loved Oxford - why didn't Oxford love him back?

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Tuesday May 7, 2019 at 7:09pm
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings is the best-selling fantasy novel in history with sales of 150 million; on Friday Tolkien, a film about his early life, is released. He is the creator of an entire mythology but in his other life he was the Merton Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University.

He was a philologist living, as his friend CS Lewis said, “inside language” but he also lived at 21 Merton Street, the red-brick mansion block where my husband lodged as an undergraduate in the early 1990s. When I went up to Merton in 1993 Tolkien had been dead for exactly 20 years. He is buried in the Catholic plot at Wolvercote cemetery with the name “Beren” – a character from the Silmarillion - written on his tombstone. His wife Edith is beside him with the name “Lúthien”


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