J.R.R. Tolkien

?John Ronald (?Ronald? to family and early friends) was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, on January 3, 1892. His memories of Africa were slight but vivid, including a scary encounter with a large hairy spider, and influenced his later writing to some extent; slight, because on February 15, 1896 his father died.? (Doughan 1) But before Arthur Reuel Tolkien died, ?Tolkien, his mother, and his brother Hilary boarded the SS Guelph at Cape towns harbor. The voyage took three weeks to arrive at Southampton, England.? (Neimark 5) Within six months of finding out his son had died, John Benjamin Tolkien, Arthur?s father, devastated, also died. (Neimark 9-10)

In 1900, his mother Mabel and her sister May were received into the Roman Catholic Church. Tolkien and Hilary were brought up in the faith of Pio Nono and were devoted Catholics during the rest of their lives. Father Francis Morgan, a parish priest who was half-Welsh half-Spanish regularly visited the family. (Doughan 2) By the time Tolkien was just 5 years old, his mother taught him to read Latin, French, German, and English. His mother, encouraging his love for plants, also introduced him to the science of botany. (Neimark 10-11)

Tolkien returned

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