The Tolkien Timeline

Welcome to the Tolkien Timeline!

Because so much of the focus has been on his two most famous literary works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien appears to the casual reader as nothing more than an author of fantasy literature. He was, however, a very distinguished linguist and scholar. This compilation is a chronological list of important events relating to Tolkien's life, career, and scholarly pursuits, and attempts to provide a more clear picture of this astounding man. 

The full bibliography explains the abbreviated references used in this document. 

 The Pre-Tolkien Era (up to 1892) 



The Big Bang, dinosaurs roamed the Earth, the ice age struck, Moses parted the Red Sea, Tolkien was born. This was quite a significant era in the history of the world.

 The Early Years (1892 - 1916) 



Tolkien's life, from childhood to marriage. A somewhat unhappy, disiplined time, but one which no doubt shaped the greatness of this man.

 The Lord of the Rings (1916 - 1959) 



This was a very prolific time for the Oxford professor, both academically, and personally. His fantastic vision of a place called Middle-earth continued to expand, giving birth to both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings

 The Post-Oxford Years (1959 - 1973) 



Tolkien continued to work on both his languages and stories, long after his retirement from Oxford, right up until his death in 1973. 

 After the King (1973 -) 



Though Tolkien may have died in 1973, the popularity of his work, and the admiration and joy of his fans, has done nothing but grow.