John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born on 3 January 1892, the elder son of Arthur Tolkien, a bank manager from Birmingham, and Mabel Tolkien (née Suffield), the daughter of a commercial traveller. The Tolkiens (the name, by Tolkien's own account, an anglicised derivative of German tollkühn, “foolhardy”;) had emigrated to England from Saxony in the eighteenth century. But by 1892 the Tolkiens were, as Tolkien himself remarked, “intensely English”; and he came, in any case, to identify especially strongly with his mother's family, the Suffields.
Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, where his father had taken up an appointment with the Bank of Africa. In his fourth year, however, his mother brought her two …
Citation: Rosebury, Brian. "J. R. R. Tolkien". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001 [https://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=4411, accessed 29 September 2023.]