Happy birthday to J.R.R. Tolkien! In more than 40 years since Tolkien’s death in September 1973, millions have read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and become fascinated about the very private man behind the books. Humphrey Carpenter was given unrestricted access to all Tolkien’s papers, and interviewed his friends and family, and from there he discovers what led this university professor to write the words that started it all: 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit'... Link
Today marks 100 years since the start of the Battle of the Somme. J.R.R. Tolkien was an officer in this terrible battle, and was one of the lucky men who came home again. Haunted by his experiences, he escaped into his writing, and created a world that has lived on for generations. Most people were not as fortunate. Over one million men died during the Battle of the Somme. At 7:28am GMT today, the UK will hold a two minute silence to mark the moment the first men went over the top. We hope you will join us in remembrance.