J. R. R. Tolkien Talks About the Popularity of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ in a 1968 BBC Interview

In a clip from the 1968 BBC special Tolkien in Oxford, the great J. R. R. Tolkien talked about the popularity of his epic fantasy novel The Lord of the Rings, how it was more widely read than The Hobbit, and how he got his inspiration for Middle Earth locations. Tolkien also shared stories of academia and even penned a bit of Elvish script.

All I’m doing now is do try and write in Elvish. I think my writing is very inferior to the elves. The standard greeting when meeting is “a star shines upon our meeting”.

Tolkien also spoke about the allegories that have been attributed to his writing, all of which he firmly denied.

Many people applied to a nuclear… The Ring to particularly to the nuclear bomb. They think that was in my mind, is that the whole thing is on an allegory of it. Well it isn’t. …The story is frankly always a human story. It’s back to always about one thing on that. Death, the inevitability of death.

Here’s the full program.

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