BBC’s Tolkien In Love Now Available For Free, Worldwide

Tolkein In Loveis a new BBC drama based on the young life of J R R Tolkien as a 16-year-old living in Birmingham, studying to apply to Oxford University, and meeting the 19-year-old Edith Mary Bratt in the same orphanage at 1908.

It includes a number of concepts that Tolkien would make famous in The Hobbit and Lord Of The Rings, a new ancient mythology for and England which had lost its own, creating an Elvish language, imagining the forests as an army on the march, a golden hat to rule them all and, with Edith, composing songs in imaginary languages.

Starring Will Merrick (Skins, The Rack Pack) as Tolkien and Claudia Jessie (Line Of Duty, Their Finest) as Edith. Tolkien In Love is based on real events written by Sean Grundy, and can be enjoyed for free, worldwide, right here.

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.


About Rich Johnston

Chief writer and founder of Bleeding Cool. Father of two. Comic book clairvoyant. Political cartoonist.

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