Priscilla Reuel Tolkien

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Priscilla Mary Anne Reuel Tolkien (18 June 1929 – 28 February 2022) was a British literary preservationist and the youngest child of J. R. R. Tolkien.

Tolkien in 1979



Priscilla Tolkien was born on 18 June 1929, to J. R. R. Tolkien (1892–1973) and his wife, Edith Tolkien (1889–1971), being their youngest child and only daughter.[1]

J. R. R. Tolkien was very devoted to his children and sent them illustrated letters from Father Christmas when they were young.[2]

When Priscilla was 14, she helped her father by typing out some early chapters of Lord of the Rings. The initial name of Frodo Baggins in the fourth draft of The Lord of the Rings was Bingo Bolger-Baggins which was named after a family of toy bears owned by Priscilla. She completed her B.A. degree in English at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford in 1951.[3]

In July–August 1955, she accompanied her father to a two-week holiday in Italy. After that, she started living in the further side of the Oxford city from her parents' house but still saw them frequently and started working as a probation officer in the city.[4] She was also a social worker.

Tolkien died on 28 February 2022, unmarried, at the age of 92. She was the last living child of J. R. R. Tolkien.[1][5]

Tolkien legacy


Tolkien wrote his last letter to Priscilla in August 1973.[6] She was, until her death, the honorary vice-president of the Tolkien Society.[7] She wrote an article titled "My Father the Artist" in December 1976 for Amon Hen, the bulletin of the Tolkien Society. After her eldest brother John returned to Oxford in 1987, the siblings began identifying and cataloging the large collection of family photographs. In 1992, she and John published the book The Tolkien Family Album containing pictures of the Tolkien family to celebrate the 100th birth anniversary of their father. The same year she unveiled a plaque at the Anglican Cathedral of St. Andrew and St. Michael commemorating the centenary birth anniversary celebrations of her father at his birthplace of Bloemfontein, South Africa. She launched the special Tolkien edition Royal Mail stamps commemorating her father's works in February 2004.[8] In 2012, she along with a coalition of British publishers sued Warner Brothers in her capacity of a trustee of The Tolkien Trust for US$80 million accusing them of exploiting Middle-earth characters to promote online gambling.[9]


  1. ^ a b "Priscilla Tolkien dies aged 92". 1 March 2022. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  2. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey (1977). J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography. London: G. Allen & Unwin. ISBN 0-04-928037-6. OCLC 3046822.
  3. ^ Drout, Michael D. C., ed. (2007). J. R. R. Tolkien Encyclopedia: Scholarship and Critical Assessment. New York: Routledge. ISBN 978-0-203-96151-3. OCLC 85770153.
  4. ^ Carpenter, Humphrey (1987). J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography. Boston. ISBN 978-0-547-52442-9. OCLC 871537705.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)
  5. ^ "Priscilla Tolkien has died". Tolkien Society. 2 March 2022.
  6. ^ Beahm, George W. (2004). The Essential J.R.R. Tolkien Sourcebook : A Fan's Guide to Middle-earth and Beyond. Franklin Lakes, New Jersey: New Page Books. ISBN 1-4175-2602-5. OCLC 56126719.
  7. ^ "The Society". The Tolkien Society. 27 October 2016. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  8. ^ "Royal Mail launches Rings stamps". BBC News. 25 February 2004. Retrieved 7 March 2022.
  9. ^ Sanchez, Raf (13 December 2014). "JRR Tolkien's daughter sues producers of The Hobbit". The Daily Telegraph. Archived from the original on 13 December 2014. Retrieved 7 March 2022.