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Lord of the Rings protector Christopher Tolkien dies

by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 1/17/20, 11:47 am

Christopher Tolkien, son of fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien, has died at age 95. The Tolkien Society and HarperCollins UK on Thursday confirmed his death but did not provide additional information. His wife Baillie, his sister Priscilla, and his three children, Simon, Adam, and Rachel, survive him.

Who was Christopher Tolkien? Without him, many of his father’s works beyond The Lord of the Rings would never have reached the public after his death in 1973. As the executor of his father’s estate, Tolkien organized and oversaw the publication of The Silmarillion, The Children of Hurin, and other texts that expanded J.R.R. Tolkien’s world and lore. He also drew the maps for the original trilogy when they were published in 1950. A scholar in his own right, Tolkien worked as a lecturer and tutor at New College, Oxford.

Dig deeper: Read about when Christopher Tolkien won the Bodley Medal for his contributions to literature, culture, science, and communication. From the WORLD archives, read this analysis on the Christian themes in The Lord of the Rings and how they came through in the movies.

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Rachel Lynn Aldrich

Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.

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