CooperToons HomePage Caricatures Alphabetical Index Random Selection Previous Next

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien

It's not often that Oxbridges professors achieve iconic status, but it isn't unheard of either. You can certainly think of Sir Isaac Newton as the most famous Cambridge professor. And without doubt John Ronald Reuel Tolkien has to be his Oxford counterpart.

In fact, the way things are today, J. R. R. Tolkien - who was known as "Tollers" to his friends and "Ronald" to his family - probably eclipses Isaac - at least in the popular minds. I mean, anyone can figure out the laws of gravitation and predict the movement of planets, comets, and asteroids. But not everyone can write a book about small people with furry feet and make it one of the best sellers of all time.

Ronald, though, was not just an author but a professor. He was the the Rawlinson and Bosworth Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford and then the Merton Professor of the English Language and Literature. But if you think it's odd that an English professor could write a book that has literally defined a whole genre of literature, there is something even stranger. And that's because professors in Ronald's time ...

Actually, there's quite a few things that sets the professors of Ronald's time apart from those today - some things good, some bad, and some inconsequential - and of which you can learn a bit by just clicking here.