Tolkien fans hold annual Oxonmoot in Oxford

JRR Tolkien JRR Tolkien spent most of his working life at Oxford University

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More than 200 Middle-earth fans are expected in Oxford at the weekend for the Tolkien Society's annual Oxonmoot.

The society has held a gathering in the city every September since 1974.

It takes place on the weekend closest to the joint birthdays of The Lord of the Rings characters Bilbo and Frodo Baggins.

The event will be held at Oxford University's Lady Margaret Hall and will feature a series of talks and presentations.

Organiser Helen Armstrong said Oxonmoot was a celebration of the internationally famous writer who wrote books like The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

JRR Tolkien spent most of his working life at Oxford University. He first took up a professorship in Anglo-Saxon in 1925 and later became a professor of English Language and Literature at Merton College until he retired in 1959.

Ms Armstrong said his life in Oxford was a key factor in the success of his books.

War story

While in Oxford, Tolkien established a writing group called The Inklings with a number of close university friends.

They regularly met at The Eagle and Child pub in St Giles.

She said: "The fact that he had a great deal of support and encouragement from colleagues in Oxford, particularly [Chronicles of Narnia author] CS Lewis, was very helpful to him."

But she added that Tolkien also drew a great deal of inspiration from his other experiences in the wider world.

"People don't always realise this when they first read it but The Lord of the Rings is a war story partly based on his experiences in the First World War and also what was happening in the Second World War," she said.

Oxonmoot will feature a talk on Tolkien and the war years as well as quizzes, dance workshops and an art show.

On Sunday there will be a ceremony of remembrance in Wolvercote cemetery where Tolkien and his wife are buried.

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