Below is a chronology of J.R.R. Tolkien’s life

Years Description
1892 John Ronald Reuel Tolkien is born on January 3rd
in Bloemfontein
1894 Brother Hilary Arthur Tolkien is born
1895 Mother, Mabel Tolkien, returns with the sons to England
1896 Father, Arthur Tolkien, dies in South Africa Mother
with the sons moves to Birmingham suburb and begins to teach Ronald
Latin, French and drawing
1900 Ronald begins to attend King Edward’s Grammar school
1903 Ronald begins to study Greek and Old English
1904 Mother, Mabel Tolkien, dies of diabetes. She was 34
years old. Ronald and his brother Hilary become wards of Father Morgan,
a priest at the Birmingham Oratory
1906 – 1911 Ronald studies Old English himself and begins to develop
his own languages
1908 Orphaned boys move to Aunt’s, Mrs Faulkner, home in
1909 Ronald falls in love with Edith Bratt, his wife-to-be
He fails the exams on obtaining Oxford grant
1910 Edith Bratt leaves Birmingham Tolkien takes an active
part in school debates and makes speeches in Gothic and Old English
1911 In summer Ronald is an active Tea Club participant
Begins first term at Oxford (Exeter College)
1914 Ronald finds his sweetheart Edith Bratt The War I
is declared Tolkien returns to Oxford to finish his degree
1915 Awarded First Class Honours degree in English language
and Literature
1916 Marries Edith Bratt in Warwick Goes to war in France
Sees action on the Somme as second lieutenant In November is returned
to England with shell shock
1917 While recovering begins to write “The Simarillion”
Birth of the first son, John
1918 Obtains full lieutenant, moves to Staffordshire Returns
with the family to Oxford when the War is over Being appointed as
Assistant Lexicographer, Ronald joins the staff of New English Dictionary
and works on “W” section
1919 Tolkien works as a freelance tutor in Oxford
1920 Appointed Reader in English Language at Leeds University
Birth of the second son, Michael Begins to write Father Christmas
1924 Tolkien becomes a professor of English Language at
Leeds Birth of the third son, Christopher
1925 “Sir Gawain and the Green Knight” is published
by Tolkien and E.V. Gordon Tolkien is appointed as a Rawlison and
Bowsworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford
1926 Tolkien meets C.S. Lewis (the author of the famous
“Chronicles of Narnia”) and their friendship blossoms
1929 Birth of the fourth child, Priscilla
1930 Tolkien becomes one of the founder members of “The
Inklings” Begins to write the first version of “The Hobbit”
1936 Tolkien completes “The Hobbit” Delivers
his lecture “Beowulf”: “The Monsters and the Critics”
1937 “The Hobbit” is published Tolkien begins
to write a sequel, which becomes “The Lord of the Rings”
in future
1939 Tolkien delivers his lecture on “Fairy stories”
16 chapters of “the Lord of the Rings” are written
1940 The bomb explosion kills warehouse together with a
part of ” The Hobbit”
1945 “Leaf by Niggle” is published Tolkien is
elected to be a professor of the English Language and Literature at
1947 Draft of “The Lord of the Rings” is sent
to publishers
1948 “The Lord of the Rings” is completed
1949 “Farmer Giles of Ham” is published
1951 The new edition of “The Hobbit” is published
1954 “The Fellowship of the Ring” and “The Two Towers”
(part One and Two) are published
1955 Publication of “The Lord of the Rings”,
part Three
1959 Tolkien’s retirement
1962 “The adventures of Tom Bombadil” is published
1964 “Tree and Leaf” is published
1965 American editions of “The Lord of the Rings”
are published and campus cult of the novel begins
1966 The 3rd edition of “The Hobbit” is published
1967 “Smith of Wooton Major” is published
1968 The Tolkien’s move to Poole near Bournemouth
1971 Edith Tolkien on November 29th dies, aged 82
1972 Tolkien returns to Oxford. Receives CBE from the Queen
1973 J.R.R. Tolkien dies on September 2nd, aged 81