This brief biography of J.R.R. Tolkien offered as part of a series titled “Christian Encounters” is a wonderful little read. Author Mark Horne tracks Tolkien’s entire life highlighting the relationships he had with his friends, mentors, and wife. Along the way Horne manages to touch on aspects of Tolkien’s faith.
Of particular interest to me were insights on how Tolkien helped lead his friend C.S. Lewis into a relationship with Christ by addressing Lewis’ hesitations concerning Christ’s resurrection. Considering Tolkien was Roman Catholic and Lewis eventually became a Protestant in the Church of England, entire books could probably be written on their relationship. Such an examination, however, would be out of this little book’s scope which I found slightly disappointing. However, the author manages to fill that void by including tidbits concerning Tolkien’s creative process.
This book serves as a good introduction into the life and faith of J.R.R. Tolkien that fans of his work are sure to enjoy. In my case, it also managed to instill in me a desire to read more about Tolkien. Fortunately, author Mark Horne offers some recommended titles for additional reading.