The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy trilogy written by English philologist and University of Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien. The story began as a sequel to Tolkien's earlier, less complex children's fantasy novel The Hobbit (1937), but eventually developed into a much larger work which formed the basis for the extended Middle-Earth Universe. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during World War II. It is the third best-selling novel ever written, with over 150 million copies sold.
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