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Tolkien's Great War

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    John Ronald Reuel Tolkien,
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    was born on the 3rd January, 1892.
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    He and his brother Hilary, experienced
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    a difficult childhood; when Tolkien was
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    just four, they lost their father, Arthur,
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    to rheumatic fever.
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    As a widow with low income, his mother
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    Mabel, home school the brothers and played
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    a vital role in their early education and
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    development.
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    Tolkien was a smart young boy, with a
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    fascination and thirst for languages.
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    Tolkien sat the entrance exam for King
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    Edward's School, Birmingham and passed.
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    From the Autumn of 1900, for a fee of
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    12 pounds a year, Tolkien would be
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    educated in an environment that would help
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    fulfil his academic potential.
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    [John Garth] Going to King Edward's was vitally
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    important to Tolkien; he was an
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    exceptionally talented boy. King Edward's
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    offered him a vast amount of scope and also
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    the company of other boys who were
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    similarly talented.
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    Which was probably quite hard for Tolkien
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    to find.
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    [Simon Stacey] Not only did he play rugby but
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    he was a leading light in the debating society
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    and the literary society; he was the life and
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    soul really and he missed the school a
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    great deal, I think, when he finally had
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    to leave.
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    [VO] At the age of just 11, Tolkien and his
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    brother Hilary, lose their mother, Mabel,
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    to diabetes. Grief stricken, he plunges
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    himself into school life more energetically
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    than before. Academically he excels, but
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    in 1905, meets his intellectual rival,
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    Christopher Wiseman.
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    [John Garth] Tolkien met his greatest friend
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    at King Edward's, Christopher Wiseman on
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    the rugby pitch. A musician, a mathematician;
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    quite different from Tolkien.
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    They developed such a strong bond on the rugby
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    field that they called themselves;
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    "The Great Twin Brethren", which was a phrase
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    from "Lays of Ancient Rome" by Lord
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    Macauley.
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    [Simon Stacey] They also were friendly rivals
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    in the school, both being very academic
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    boys. Wiseman had a formidable intellect
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    and he was interested in a lot of the things
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    that Tolkien was getting interested in;
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    languages, I think he was looking at
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    Egyptian and was looking at hieroglyphics.
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    [John Garth] Tolkien and Wiseman must have
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    helped define each other through their
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    teenage years because they would argue;
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    they would argue strongly about all their
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    beliefs in life.
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    [Simon Stacey] Wiseman was a very talented
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    musician; Tolkien was supposed to be tone
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    deaf but that didn't stop them getting on!
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    [VO] Tolkien also befriends, son of the
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    headmaster, Rob Gilson. Tolkien, Wiseman
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    and Gilson, form a strong bond which will
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    last throughout their school years and beyond.
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    Outside of King Edward's, Tolkien's life is
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    about to change, yet again.
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    [John Garth] Tolkien was living in lodgings
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    with his brother, Hilary, and when he was 16
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    he met fellow lodger, Edith Bratt, who was 19
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    at the time. And she was a beautiful young
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    girl; talented pianist and also an orphan.
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    And the two of them bonded on their shared
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    sadnesses but also on their hopes and dreams.
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    The difficulty for Ronald, as she called him,
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    and Edith, was that he was a Roman Catholic
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    and she was an Anglican.
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    [VO] Tolkien's Guardian, Father Francis Morgan,
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    a Catholic Priest, feels this is major
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    divide; and also believes that Edith will
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    distract Tolkien from his attempts to get
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    into Oxford University.
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    [John Garth] Father Francis Morgan, forbade
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    them from seeing each other, or even from
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    communicating. He was thrown back upon his
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    friendships at King Edward's and it was
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    this final phase of his time here, that he
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    began to flourish and make the place his
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    own; he and his friends ruled the roost.
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    [VO] Making the most of his final year at
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    King Edward's and the friendships he has
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    formed, Tolkien and his peers create an
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    informal society.
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    These young intellectuals gather in the school
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    library and do what they are forbidden to do:
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    brew tea. Outside of school hours, they meet
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    in a cafe at Barrow's Stores in Birmingham
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    and so, self-mockingly, they call themselves
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    the "Tea Club and Barrovean Society"
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    or the TCBS for short.
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    (nostalgic music)
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    [John Garth] The core of the TCBS was probably
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    Tolkien and Wiseman and the others
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    gravitated around them. There was Robert
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    Quilter Gilson, the son of the headmaster
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    here; Rob was a cultured and sociable chap,
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    he was perhaps the social glue of the group;
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    he would welcome anyone and find common
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    cause with them. A gentle artistic fellow
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    who loved to sketch.
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    [Simon Stacey] He was a gifted artist and
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    had ambitions to be an architect.
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    There was a late arrival, Geoffrey Bache Smith,
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    who was fascinated by mythology, Celtic
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    mythology; so this gave him common ground
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    with Tolkien; it was another of Tolkien's
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    passions.
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    [Simon Stacey] Smith was quite an accomplished
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    and advanced poet who recommended contemporary
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    poetry to Tolkien. When he started writing
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    poetry, Tolkien was to a certain extent,
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    inspired by Smith and the wider group.
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    And that was really the beginnings of
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    Tolkien as a writer.
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    [John Garth] From the beginnings which were
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    mostly about fun, later on, during the war years,
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    this developed into a fellowship from which
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    each of them drew tremendous strength and
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    comfort.
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    [VO] Later that year, Tolkien's time at
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    King Edward's comes to an end and he begins
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    his first term at Oxford, having successfully
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    gained entrance.
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    On the eve of his 21st birthday, and his
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    independence from Father Francis Morgan,
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    Tolkien writes to Edith and less than a
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    week later, they are re-united.
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    Edith is engaged to marry another man,
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    but despite almost certain ridicule,
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    she agrees to break the engagement to be
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    with her Ronald.
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    Over the next few months, a growing sense of
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    trouble brews across Europe and on the 28th
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    of June, 1914, everything changes.
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    (gun shot sound)
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    (solemn music)
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    Gavrillo Princip is arrested for the
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    assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
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    A diplomatic crisis ensues and within weeks,
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    Europe's major powers are at war.
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    Germany invades Belgium and Britain declares
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    war on Germany. Parliament issues a call
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    to arms from the British public.
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    [Paul Golightly] There isn't a rush to the
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    colours straight away. It becomes much more
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    obvious that people are willing to join
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    up when atrocity stories start to emerge,
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    then you get a much more concerted rush
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    to join.
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    [John Garth] There was an air of excitement
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    about the war, there was a naive sense that
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    this would allow young men to fulfil their
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    potential in a way that wasn't possible in
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    peace time. There was a tremendous sense
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    of patriotism and a sense of duty towards
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    whatever England, or Britain, stood for.
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    [Paul Golightly] They are attracted to the
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    idea of a settling of accounts with the Germans,
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    or at least some of them will be. On the
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    whole, they thought they were going to give
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    the Germans a bloody nose.
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    [John Garth] "The Germans has been dastardly"
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    and needed to dealt with and shown their place.
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    [Paul Golightly] Men join up
Títol:
Tolkien's Great War
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Video Language:
English
Duration:
32:58
Kelsey Mitchell edited anglès subtitles for Tolkien's Great War
Maggie S (Amara staff) edited anglès subtitles for Tolkien's Great War
Arvind Patil edited anglès subtitles for Tolkien's Great War
Joanna Lam edited anglès subtitles for Tolkien's Great War
Gaal Galaa edited anglès subtitles for Tolkien's Great War
Enji Mitchel edited anglès subtitles for Tolkien's Great War
Enji Mitchel edited anglès subtitles for Tolkien's Great War
Enji Mitchel edited anglès subtitles for Tolkien's Great War
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