Home / Life / Timeline (1950 – 2018)

Timeline (1950 – 2018)

1890 | 1900 | 1910 | 1920 | 1930 | 1940 | 1950 | 1960 | 1970 | 1980 | 1990 | 2000 | 2010

1950

1950

Moves house again

He and Edith move to a larger house in Holywell Street, another Merton College property but the constant traffic noise is a major irritation.

May

1953

‘The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth, Beorhthelm’s Son’

Publication of a dramatic dialogue in verse, based on the aftermath of the Battle of Maldon in Essex in 991.

1953

Moves for the third time in six years

Seeking a quieter location, he and Edith move to 76 Sandfield Road in Headington, two miles uphill from the city centre.

March

1953

Sir Gawain lecture

Delivers the W.P. Ker Memorial Lecture at the University of Glasgow, entitled, ‘Sir Gawain and the Green Knight’, later published in The Monsters and the Critics (1983).

15 April

1954

The Lord of the Rings, vols. 1 & 2

The Fellowship of the Ring is published in July, followed four months later by The Two Towers.

July and November

1955

The Lord of the Rings, vol. 3

The final volume, The Return of the King, is published.

October

1955

‘English and Welsh’

Delivers the first O’Donnell Lecture, ‘English and Welsh’, in Oxford. It is later published in The Monsters and the Critics (1983).

21 October

 

1959

Retires

Retires from the University of Oxford and delivers a valedictory address in Merton College which is later published in J.R.R. Tolkien, Scholar and Storyteller (1979).

5 June

1960

1962

Ancrene Wisse

Publishes Ancrene Wisse: The English Text of the Ancrene Riwle, an edition of a thirteenth-century prose work.

 

1962

The Adventures of Tom Bombadil

Publishes his first volume of poetry, The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book.

1964

Tree and Leaf

Publication in one volume of ‘On Fairy-stories’ (1947) and Leaf, by Niggle (1945). In later editions the poem, ‘Mythopoeia’ is added.

 

© Pauline Baynes

1967

Smith of Wootton Major

Publication of a fairy-story based on ‘the bereavement of ‘retirement’, and of advancing age’, illustrated by Pauline Baynes.

1968

The Road Goes Ever On

Publication of a song-book containing poems by Tolkien set to music by Donald Swann.

 

1968

Leaves Oxford

He and Edith move to a modern bungalow in Poole, Dorset, where they hope to live quietly in retirement. They had spent many holidays in neighbouring Bournemouth.

July

1970

1971

Edith Dies

His wife Edith Mary Tolkien dies in Bournemouth after a short illness. They had been married for fifty-five years.

29 November

 

1972

Returns to Oxford

He moves back to the centre of Oxford and lives in a flat belonging to Merton College. As an emeritus fellow of Merton he is welcomed back into college life.

January

 

1972

C.B.E

Awarded the Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the New Year’s Honours List. Receives his medal from the Queen on 28 March.

1973

Dies aged 81

Dies in Bournemouth whilst visiting friends.

2 September

 

1975

Middle English translations

Publication of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl and Sir Orfeo, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

1976

Brother dies

Hilary Arthur Reuel Tolkien dies aged 81.

25 January

 

1976

The Father Christmas Letters

A selection of letters and illustrations from ‘Father Christmas’ is published, edited by Baillie Tolkien. Later editions are published as Letters from Father Christmas.

1977

The Silmarillion

Publication of the long-awaited Silmarillion, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1979

Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien

Publication of a selection of his artwork, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

1980

1980

Unfinished Tales

Publication of Unfinished Tales of Númenor and Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1981

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien

Publication of a volume of letters selected and edited by Humphrey Carpenter, with the assistance of Christopher Tolkien.

1982

Mr. Bliss

Publication of a children’s story, written and illustrated by the author.

 

1983

The Book of Lost Tales, I

Publication of volume 1 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

1983

The Monsters and the Critics and Other Essays

Publication of a collection of essays edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1984

The Book of Lost Tales, II

Publication of volume 2 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1985

The Lays of Beleriand

Publication of volume 3 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

1986

The Shaping of Middle-earth

Publication of volume 4 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1987

The Lost Road

Publication of volume 5 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

1988

The Return of the Shadow

Publication of volume 6 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1989

The Treason of Isengard

Publication of volume 7 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

1990

1990

The War of the Ring

Publication of volume 8 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1992

Sauron Defeated

Publication of volume 9 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

1993

Morgoth’s Ring

Publication of volume 10 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1994

The War of the Jewels

Publication of volume 11 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

1995

Artist and Illustrator

Publication of J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, edited by Wayne Hammond & Christina Scull.

 

1996

The Peoples of Middle-earth

Publication of volume 12 of The History of Middle-earth, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

1998

Roverandom

Publication of a children’s story edited by Christina Scull & Wayne G. Hammond.

2000

2007

The Children of Húrin

Publication of a standalone tale from the legendarium, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

2009

The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún

Publication of two long poems inspired by the Norse legends and edited by Christopher Tolkien.

2010

2013

The Fall of Arthur

Publication of an unfinished verse rendering of the legend of King Arthur, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

 

2014

Beowulf

Publication of Beowulf: A Translation and Commentary, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

2015

The Story of Kullervo

Publication of one of his earliest works, adapted from the Finnish Kalevala and edited by Verlyn Flieger.

 

2017

Beren and Lúthien

Publication of the different versions of the tale of Beren and Lúthien from the Silmarillion, edited by Christopher Tolkien.

2018

The Fall of Gondolin

Publication of one of the earliest tales of Middle-earth, illustrated by Alan Lee and edited by Christopher Tolkien. This was Christopher Tolkien’s last publication. He died on 16th January 2020 having dedicated more than forty-five years to studying, editing and publishing his father’s works.

 

Christopher Tolkien by François Deladerrière. (c) The Tolkien Estate Limited 2016.