The Professor – On Hobbits

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien

“Hobbits really are amazing creatures. You can learn all that there is to know about them in a month, and yet after a hundred years, they can still surprise you.”
J.R.R. Tolkien


In 1920, Tolkien was appointed Reader in English Language at Oxford University, marking the beginning of a distinguished academic career. One day, when he was marking examination papers, Tolkien found that a student left one blank page in his answer book.   On impulse, he penned these words on that page: “In a hole in the ground there lived a Hobbit”.  And so began the journey.  J.R.R.Tolkien determined to find out what a Hobbit was, what sort of a hole it lived in and why it lived in a hole.

J.R.R. Tolkien pursued this idea with keen resolve, travelling the time and the world in which Hobbits lived.  He found that Hobbits loved to celebrate life, to seek comfort over adventure, preferring to share a generous meal with a friend, rather than embarking on a strange journey.  Perhaps J.R.R. Tolkien’s greatest discovery is captured in his words: “I am in fact, a hobbit in all but size”

Every year, on January 3rd, J.R.R. Tolkien fans from around the world are invited to raise a glass and toast the birthday of this much loved author at 21:00 (9:00 pm) local time. The toast is simply, “The Professor.”

He would want us to continue the adventure…

“Don’t adventures ever have an end? I suppose not. Someone else always has to carry on on the story.” 
J.R.R. Tolkien

Published by Rebecca Budd

Blogger, Visual Storyteller, Podcaster, Traveler and Life-long Learner

14 thoughts on “The Professor – On Hobbits

  1. Can I ask you many thing?….. what is the connection between Hobbits and the Lotus ? do they eat lotus’s leaves?.. or do they decorate their heads with the flower ? … It is truly fantastic photo in three main colors composition. Thank you for sharing with me. 🙂


    1. I welcome your questions! A White Tree is featured prominently throughout J.R.R. Tolkien’s mythology. There is quite a history to this spacious tree with a graceful form that is in the fashion of a tree that came from Valinor, of ancient times. Every spring, the tree bore many white flowers. On the anniversary of my father’s passing, I visited his resting place. There is a lovely garden with a lake and fountain. When I saw the lotus, I remembered The White Tree and the quote by J.R.R. Tolkien: “In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! We are not bound for ever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory.” Thank you so much for your visits and comments – they are very much appreciated…


  2. What a lovely story, Rebecca. I have never read any Tolkien!!! Maybe a new adventure awaits me in my twilight years. You have whetted my appetite to see the film at any rate.


    1. You must read J.R.R. Tolkien. I know, by your writings, that you are in tune with his thoughts, ideas and vision. The movies are truly amazing, but to fully appreciate the narrative, you must look to his books. So glad that you enjoyed this series of posts…


    1. We are kindred spirits, indeed. I was inspired by your post. There is a famous quote by Buddha: “To keep the body in good health is a duty, for otherwise we shall not be able to trim the lamp of wisdom, and keep our mind strong and clear. Water surrounds the lotus flower, but does not wet its petals.”


    1. The professor was rather particular about his writing. It was said that he would not let anyone, not even those close to him, edit any of his works while he was alive. He died September 2, 1973, leaving Christopher, his son, the task of editing and publishing “The Silmarillion.” What I find most amazing was that the Professor loved the study of languages so much so that he make up his own just for fun.


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