They first settled in the country hamlet of Sarehole. After awhile, they settled in King’s Heath, where their home was near a railroad station. One quote said, “young Ronald’s developing linguistic imagination was engaged by the sight of coal trucks going to and from South Wales bearing destinations like “Nantyglo”, “Penrhiwceiber” and “Senghenydd”.”
The family generally lived in poverty, and in 1904, when Mabel was diagnosed and died from diabetes, the boys became orphans. After that, the boys spent their time between aunts, school, boarding homes and Father Morgan, a friend who made sure the boys were happy.
Tolkien’s homes were represented in his books, as one article perfectly states, “The dichotomy between Tolkien’s happier days in the rural landscape of Sarehole and his adolescent years in the industrial center of Birmingham would be felt strongly in his later works.” And it was. Sarehole was the basis for the Shire, the home of the hobbits. Much of Tolkien’s early life was used in his books. (Put Shire and Sarehole pictures here)
At the same time, his relationship with Edith was going well. [Edith] “converted to Catholicism and moved to Warwick, which with its spectacular castle and beautiful surrounding countryside made a great impression on Ronald. However, as the pair were becoming ever closer, the nations were striving ever more furiously together, and war eventually broke out in August 1914.”
Unfortunately, all but one of his friends from the T.C.B.S. had perished during the war. “stirred by reaction against his war experiences, he had already begun to put his stories into shape, “… in huts full of blasphemy and smut, or by candle light in bell-tents, even some down in dugouts under shell fire” [Letters 66].” Throughout his life, J.R.R. Tolkien experienced so many factors that were influenced in his books.
Although his illness continued to recur through the years of 1917 and 1918, when he had remission he continued to service at different camps well to be promoted to lieutenant. When he was stationed in the Hull area that “he and Edith went walking in the woods at nearby Roos, and there in a grove thick with hemlock Edith danced for him. This was the inspiration for the tale of Beren and Lúthien... He came to think of Edith as “Lúthien” and himself as “Beren”.” Ronald and Edith’s first son, John Francis Reuel, was born on November 16, 1917.
The people loved The Hobbit so much they called for a sequel. So Tolkien set out to work on “The New Hobbit”. It was published as The Lord of the Rings in three parts during 1954 and 1955. It was soon seen that neither author or publisher was ready for the wave of success that The Lord Of The Rings brought along.