Mayflower Team | Tuesday, January 3, 2017


On the third of January all bookworms celebrate J. R. R. Tolkien’s birth anniversary. The author of “The Hobbit” and the epic novel “The Lord of the Rings” was born on this day in 1892, one hundred and twenty-five years ago. At Mayflower, we join in the celebration with a list of not-so-obvious facts from Tolkien’s life, and a set of carefully selected activities (see a sample below and download here) we have created and use with our students for practising English and English literature in an enjoyable way.

Birth: J. R. R. Tolkien was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa, and moved to England at the age of four after his father’s death.

Name: his full name is John Ronald Reuel Tolkien; his family name is pronounced /ˈtɒlkiːn/.

Pseudonym: Oxymore was a pen name occasionally used by the writer.

Languages: Apart from mastering Latin, Greek, Gothic and Finnish, Tolkien also invented his own language.

Visual art: It tourns out that Tolkien was not only a great writer but also a talented illustrator. There are over one hundred ink drawings, watercolours and sketches in his archive at the Bodleian Library in Oxford. You can admire the illustrations at

Tolkien Crossword

Download here.

*J. R. R. Tolkien in “The Hobbit”