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Tortured Artist Fact: J.R.R. Tolkien

December 15, 2012

Long before he rose to fantasy-novel fame with The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkein was sent to the front lines of World War I, where many of his school chums were killed in battle. He referenced the traumatic war throughout his life, calling it a “hideous” experience and sometimes expressing disdain for the fact that its horrific effects on his youth were overshadowed by the even larger war that came less than two decades later.  “By 1918 all but one of my close friends were dead,” Tolkien wrote.

Learn more about tortured artists here.

J.R.R. Tolkien and Gollum

Before he conjured up Gollum, J.R.R. Tolkien had to live through World War I.

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