Author of The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien is one of the greatest writers of the 20th century

[See also: The Fascinating History of the Ring in the LOTR, Explained]

[See also: This Guy Made a Hand-Illuminated Copy of Tolkien’s “The Silmarillion”]

Here are 12 great quotes from the famous author.


1) “Every morning I wake up and think good, another 24 hours’ pipe-smoking.”

Interview, 1966

2) “My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) … the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity.”

Letter to his son Christopher Tolkien (29 November, 1943)

3) “The Lord of the Rings is of course a fundamentally religious and Catholic work; unconsciously so at first, but consciously in the revision. That is why I have not put in, or have cut out, practically all references to anything like ‘religion’, to cults or practices, in the imaginary world. For the religious element is absorbed into the story and the symbolism.”

Letter to his friend Robert Murray, S.J. (December 1953)

4) “Wars are not favourable to delicate pleasures.”

“A Secret Vice” (lecture, 1931)

5) “Human stories are practically always about one thing, aren’t they? Death. The inevitability of death.”

BBC documentary, 1968

6) “The real soul-mate is the one you are actually married to.”

Letter to Michael Tolkien (March 1941)

7) “I am in fact a Hobbit (in all but size). I like gardens, trees, and unmechanized farmlands; I smoke a pipe, and like good plain food (unrefrigerated), but detest French cooking; I like, and even dare to wear in these dull days, ornamental waistcoats. I am fond of mushrooms (out of a field); have a very simple sense of humor (which even my appreciative critics find tiresome); I go to bed late and get up late (when possible). I do not travel much.”

Letter to Deborah Webster (25 October 1958)

8) “I always in writing start with a name. Give me a name and it produces a story, not the other way about normally.”

BBC radio interview, 1971

9) “I do so dearly believe that no half-heartedness and no worldly fear must turn us aside from following the light unflinchingly.”

Letter to Edith

10) “I will not say, do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.”

The Fellowship of the Ring

11) “Not all those who wander are lost.”

The Fellowship of the Ring

12) “It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

The Fellowship of the Ring

[See also: 4 Fascinating Recordings (Video & Audio) of the Great J.R.R. Tolkien]

Share this post