Tolkien set to have blue plaque in Warwick - The Leamington Observer

Tolkien set to have blue plaque in Warwick

Catherine Thompson 8th May, 2018 Updated: 9th May, 2018   0

JRR Tolkien will soon have a blue plaque in Warwick.

Warwick Town Council has decided to place a plaque on St Mary Immaculate Roman Catholic Church where the Lord of the Rings author married sweetheart Edith Mary Bratt on March 22, 1916.

The star-crossed lovers – who met in an orphanage in 1908 – were kept apart until Tolkein was 21 because of religious differences. Edith, who was a Protestant, converted to Catholicism in order to marry the writer.

Before their marriage, Edith set up home at 15 Victoria Street in the town while Tolkien studied in Oxford.

But following their union, the couple were forced to move to Staffordshire, where Tolkien underwent army training, which was to inspire many of the battles scenes in his classic fantasy novel.

Following several bouts of illness, the author returned to his wife and the couple went on to have four children.

Tolkien busied himself with his writing and became a professor at Leeds University and later at Oxford.

The couple are buried side by side in a cemetery in Oxford. On their graves are inscribed the names Beren and LĂșthien – lovers in Tolkien’s ‘Legendarium’, who like the Tolkiens themselves were separated for a time by LĂșthien’s father.

Their son Christopher, aged 93 and one of two surviving children, edited some of his father’s earlier stories which lead to his Middle Earth creation, including ‘The Fall of Gondolin’ due to be published this summer.

The plaque will be among a number of memorials mapping the author’s life around the Midlands including at Sarehole Mill where he played as a child and in Edgbaston, Birmingham, where he later lived with his mother and siblings before they were orphaned.

A council spokesperson said: “This blue plaque is a long-overdue recognition of an exciting part of Warwick’s history, particularly in the year when Tolkien fans look forward to the publication of his much-anticipated work ‘The Fall of Gondolin’.”

The new plaque will be unveiled during a ceremony in June.


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