J.R.R. Tolkien was born in 1892, Bloomfontein, South Africa. After three years in South Africa, he returned to England with his Mother Mabel; unfortunately his father died one year later, leaving him with little memory of his father. His early childhood was, by all accounts, a happy one; he was brought up in the Warwickshire countryside (many regard this idealised upbringing as the basis for the Shire in Lord of the Rings).
In 1904, when John was just 12, his mother Mabel died from diabetes leaving a profound mark on him and his brother. After his mother’s passing, he was brought up by the family’s Catholic priest, Father Francis Morgen. From an early age, J.R.R. Tolkien was an excellent scholar, with an unusually specialised interest in languages. He enjoyed studying languages especially Greek, Anglo Saxon, and later at Oxford, Finnish.
Although a scholar at King Edward VI school, he initially failed to win a scholarship to
Oxford. This was partly due to falling in love with his childhood sweatheart Edith. On finding out of this romance, his guardian, Father Francis Morgan, prohibited John from seeing Edith until he was 21 and no longer under his care. Father Morgen, made John promise not to see Edith, and John reluctantly agreed to his request. John faithfully waited until his 21st birthday, and on this date he renewed his contact with Edith, and successfully persuaded her to marry him. It is a testament to his belief in faithfulness and honesty, that he was willing to wait several years to meet his wife; such sentiments of nobility appear frequently in his writings; for example, the magnificent love story of Beren and Luthien.