The future Oxford professor discovered his linguistic talent early. Since childhood, he was obsessed with learning languages, then undertook to invent languages himself. And after the languages, he invented an entire world. Middle-earth is a world where elves, humans, dwarves, orcs, and hobbits live. In 1937, when The Hobbit was published, everyone who read English literature learned about Tolkien. Interestingly, in the same year, Tolkien prepared a monograph on the Old English epic Beowulf, in which the hero also defeats the dragon. But Tolkien's monographs are far less well-known than The Lord of the Rings. The trilogy became one of the most widely read books in the world and earned Tolkien the title of the father of fantasy literature. Few scientists become icons – and Tolkien is on the shortlist.
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