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Listen to J.R.R. Tolkien Read (and Sing) Excerpts From ‘The Lord of the Rings’

Also watch a rare BBC documentary on the author, featuring in-depth interviews with him

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J.R.R. Tolkien
British author J.R.R. Tolkien in his study at Merton College, Oxford, in 1955. (Haywood Magee/Picture Post/Getty Images)


Famed English fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien has entertained generations with his books The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings—both of which have been made into worldwide blockbuster film franchises. Back when Tolkien was an English professor at Merton College, Oxford, in 1952, he recorded himself reading (and singing) portions of his works, a primitive book-on-tape. Brain Pickings recently uncovered the recordings, which feature Tolkien reciting passages from The Lord of the Rings. Listen to the audio files below. Also, watch a two-part BBC documentary on Tolkien from 1968, featuring extensive interviews with the author.