The Shocking Reason Tolkien Finished The Lord of the Rings

A Pilgrim in Narnia

lord of the rings tolkien folioJ.R.R. Tolkien was a notoriously difficult writer to get to print. That The Hobbit found its way to store shelves was something of a publishing miracle, and it took Tolkien 15 years to write part two, “the new Hobbit,” which we know of as The Lord of the Rings.

With shelves full of Middle Earth material and a global appetite for more, why was it so hard for Tolkien to hand completed manuscripts to publishers?

For one, the universe Tolkien was subcreating was expansive; really, the “world Bible” behind the Middle Earth legendarium was never complete. We have 15 or so books that supplement The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, representing two lifetimes of work–that of the Oxford Elf himself as well as that of his son, Christopher Tolkien. It will probably take a third lifetime before it all goes to the public, and by then…

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