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Tolkien's Names.

The Shire

Oct 21 2013, 6:41am

Post #1 of 5 (415 views)
Tolkien's Names. Can't Post

I'm sure this has been posted and spoken of many times before I've posted this, and rest assured I've searched through here a great deal before posting, let that be known - so here's my question: what name did Tolkien go by?

I've read the Humphrey biography to which, if I remember correctly, his family and friends called him Ronald; and I know Lewis called him Tollers. But what did Tolkien go by? Simply Ronald?

Tol Eressea

Oct 21 2013, 6:47pm

Post #2 of 5 (279 views)
He signed himself Ronald [In reply to] Can't Post

- in a copy of the India paper LotR which he asked his publishers to send to his cousin Dorothy Wood. And he's mentioned n a book by Lewis's step-son Douglas Gresham, who says that after Lewis's death JRR turned up on the doorstep of the Kilns to pay his respects; and introduced himself thus - 'I'm Ronald Tolkien' he said. Of course, young Douglas knew that already - but Tolkien didn't let just anybody call him Ronald - e.g. it was not till near the end of his life that he wrote to his publisher Rayner Unwin and asked whether they could dispense with 'Professor', and could Rayner call him Ronald?

Bear in mind that the two men had known each other since at least the 1940s.


The Shire

Oct 21 2013, 9:54pm

Post #3 of 5 (244 views)
Is that so? [In reply to] Can't Post

Now I've never heard that story - how interesting! I've been an adorer of Tolkien for as long as I can remember... almost literally my entire life thus far, and I've always referred to him, or thought of him, as simply J. R. R. Tolkien, Professor Tolkien, or more commonly for me: Tolkien. So it's very interesting for me to think of him as a Ronald!

(This post was edited by toothsayer on Oct 21 2013, 9:56pm)

Tol Eressea

Oct 22 2013, 6:38pm

Post #4 of 5 (206 views)
Like Bombadil or Aragorn, Tolkien had many names :-) [In reply to] Can't Post

- at school he was known as John Ronald; or JR squared; or sometimes just JRRT (pronounced 'jirt', rhymes with 'dirt). Smile

Coincidentally, I was listening to a tape today called 'JRR Tolkien: An Audio Portrait', in which Tolkien's fellow Inkling, Neville Coghill, says 'I once asked Ronald Tolkien how he came to create these imaginary continents, and people them, and he said that he'd based the hobbits on the ordinary soldiers he'd worked with during the war; ordinary blokes like you and me, d'you see?'

The Shire

Oct 25 2013, 3:22am

Post #5 of 5 (249 views)
Good ol' Ronald [In reply to] Can't Post

I recall watching a documentary about/footage of Tolkien a while back (I apologize as I can't recall the exact sources) and hearing numerous interviewees refer to him as "Ronald". At the time, this actually caught me somewhat off-guard. I still think of him as a J.R.R. because that's what I'm accustomed to seeing printed on the books in my room. Laugh


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