J.R.R. Tolkien’s full name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, the first thing many people think of when where talking about “Tolkien is The Lord Of The Rings” and “The Hobbit”. But not many know that Tolkien Knew about 10 languages, among them was old Welsh and Finnish.
Mabel didn’t like South Africa, in letters she described Bloemfontein (the city they lived in) as a howling desert and a terrible wilderness.
The 3 of January the got a son, they called him “John” after his grandfather, “Ronald” because Mabel wanted it, and Reuel, which was his fathers middle name. In all it became John Ronald Reuel Tolkien, but the family only called him Ronald, and lather his friends started calling him John Ronald.
In 1894 Ronald got a little brother, his name was Hilary Arthur Reuel. Ronald and Mabel hated the dry desert in Africa, so Mabel and the two boys moved back to England. Arthur was going to com later, but because of rheumatic fever he never made it, he died in 1896. Short time after Arthur’s death, Ronald’s grandfather also died, and Ronald lost his closest contact with the Tolkien family. But he got really close to the Suffield’s after some time, and later he said “Even if I’m a Tolkien in my name, I’m a Suffield in taste, abilities and upbringing.
The summer 1986 Mabel Tolkien found a cheap house that the family could rent. The house was it in Sharehold, a small idyllic village, they lived there for years.
There was one big thing that changed their lives, Mabel became a catholic.
Mabel’s father hated the thought of his daughter being a papist, so she couldn’t hope for financial help from the family. But she stuck to Catholicism and thought it to Ronald and Hilary too. In 1900 Tolkien began at King Edward’s, the best Latin school in England. An uncle in the Tolkien family paid the school money. The problem was that the school was 6 kilometers from Sharehole, and Ronald had to walk all the way because the train was too expensive. This could not go on, so just before New Year they moved to the city. They moved to a small house in Mosley, Ronald described the house as an awful house. But soon they moved to a nice villa in a nicer neighborhood. In 1902 they moved again, they moved to a house with a catholic Latin school and a church as neighbors. Here was Francis Xavier Morgan, and soon he became a good friend of the family.
The school here had a much lower standard than King Edward’s, so Mabel took Ronald out of school. He tutored Ronald herself for a year, and this was so successful that he got a scholarship at King Edward’s again. There he was placed in 6’Th grade, and started learning Greek. There he found out that he appreciated and loved languages.
!904 didn’t start very well, Ronald and Hilary were bedfast and Mabel had to take care of them. This became too much for Mabel, in April she was put in a hospital with the diagnosis diabetes. She became better and spent a wonderful summer with father Francis, but November the 14’Th she died, only 34 years old.
After Mabel died Father Francis became guardian for the two boys, that turned out to be a clever choice. Mabel left 800 pound in investing, but Father Francis invested more money so the boy’s future was secured. The boys moved to their aunt Beatrice Suffield, but every morning they ran to Father Francis to help him with the fair. At school Ronald got a new friend, Christopher Wiseman. They met after 5th grade when Tolkien became first and Wiseman became second on the examination. They both where interested in rugby and languages, and they became very good friends. In 1904 they began in fist grade (the highest grade), there the syllabus most contained of Latin and Greek, they where very happy about that. He now read Anglo-Saxon, Middle English and some small plays in Old Norwegian. He started to construct his own small languages like nevtull:
Dar fys vel gom co palt: ”Hoc
Pys og iskili far maino woc?
Pro si og fys roc de
Do cat ym maino bocte
De volt fact soc ma taimful gyroc!”
(There was an old man who said: How / can I carry my cow? / should I ask it / go up in my basket / it would give me a terrible muh!)
As Tolkien grew older he made more advanced languages, in those languages he didn’t just copy word from other languages he knew but he made up new words. In 1908 Ronald and Hilary moved away from their aunt, they didn’t feel happy there so Father Francis found a room for the two boys in a boarding house. In the storey under them there lived another orphan, she was 19 years and her name was Edith. Edith and the boys became very good friends, and even if Ronald was only sixteen years and Edith was nineteen they had a love affair.