Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Tolkien in Love

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien and Edith Mary Bratt first met in 1908. They were both orphans living in a boarding house in Birmingham. Despite the difference in their ages and religions - she was 19 and Protestant, he was 16 and Catholic - they fell in love.

When Ronald's guardian, Father Francis Xavier Morgan, found out, he forbade him to see Edith again until he came of age at 21. Ronald reluctantly obeyed and later left the city after winning an exhibition to Oxford. Edith went to live in Cheltenham. At midnight on the night he turned 21, Ronald wrote to Edith declaring his undying feelings. Unfortunately, in the intervening years, she had got engaged to someone else. He raced to her in Cheltenham, they walked through the countryside and Ronald had one chance to win Edith's heart.

Their love was the inspiration for the Beren and Luthien story at the heart of Tolkien's novel The Silmarillion.

Starring Will Merrick (Skins, The Rack Pack) as Ronald and Claudia Jessie (Line Of Duty, Their Finest) as Edith. Tolkien In Love is based on real events and written by Sean Grundy, whose previous work for Radio 4 has been Sony and Tinniswood Award nominated.

A CPL production for BBC Radio 4.

Release date:

1 hour

Last on

Sat 19 Aug 2017 14:30

Credits

Role Contributor
RonaldWill Merrick
EdithClaudia Jessie
Father FrancisJohn Duttine
Mrs FaulknerSally Grace
GeorgePaul Panting
HilaryBen Wilby
WriterSean Grundy
ProducerLiz Anstee

Audio Books - great readings

4 Stories

A selection of highlights available to download via the iPlayer Radio app

The Shakespeare Sessions

The Shakespeare Sessions

Immerse yourself in Shakespeare’s world