J. R. R. Tolkien is a name known by practically every reader around the globe. Hailed as the Father of Modern Fantasy (a moniker he most certainly deserves), Tolkien shaped a genre into something that would change the face of fiction literature. Beginning with The Hobbit, which has sold 100 million copies to date, followed by The Lord of the Rings, which has sold an even more staggering 150 million, Tolkien's creation of Middle-Earth - his Legendarium, as he called it - is often considered the most influential fantasy work of all time. Here, we're going to take a look at the development of this rich fictional world, and how it laid the foundations for a genre adored by hundreds of millions today.
There are few things in the world as peaceful and enjoyable as relaxing outside during summer, the sun on your face and a good book in hand... but summer is also a time for adventure, for all things colourful and thriving and living. When it comes to a good adventure book, you get the best of both worlds. There's nothing so captivating as following characters on epic journeys of growth, staying by their sides as they cross fantastical landscapes and overcome personal trials on the roads they walk. Here, we have thrown together a short list of the most magical classic reads to get stuck into this summer, from the heart-warming to the wild, from the joyful to the perilous.
Today is the day we wish a very happy birthday (or a very happy un-un-birthday...) to the fabulous Lewis Carroll, and offer up our thanks for the literary legacy he left behind - a legacy which remains ever strong and influential. Over one hundred and fifty years have passed since the publication of his 1856 classic novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (more commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland), and yet the story continues to touch the hearts of the masses who read it to this day. It's hard to not be moved by the brilliant and colourful madness of such a zany and memorable tale, which is why we're using this special day to explore Carroll's many wacky and wonderful characters - characters which make Wonderland worthy of its name, a world which would not be the same without each and every one of its unique inhabitants.
With National Day on Writing having just taken place, a day where we can all appreciate the importance of literature and storytelling, it only feels right to celebrate some of the most influential and adored writers of our time. Every book we read today has been influenced by one great writer or another - and, without certain names in the literary world, many of the classic genres know would likely not exist in their current form. Some may not even exist at all...
46 years ago today we lost one of the most influential writers of all time, and possibly the most renowned fantasy author to ever walk the face of the earth. With The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings shaping the genre as we know it today, it didn't feel right to let this day pass without paying our respects to such an incredible and creative individual in the world of literature. So take our quiz, find out your Middle-Earth race, and win a vintage The Lord of the Rings book!