The first part of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings was published on this day in 1954. In this passage from his 1938 essay "On Fairy-stories," Tolkien says that he took the saga-path early and above all others:
I had no desire to have either dreams or adventures like Alice, and the amount of them merely amused me. I had very little desire to look for buried treasure or fight pirates, and Treasure Island left me cool. Red Indians were better: there were bows and arrows (I had and have a wholly unsatisfied desire to shoot well with a bow), and strange languages, and glimpses of an archaic mode of life, and, above all, forests in such stories. But the land of Merlin and Arthur was better than these, and best of all the nameless North of Sigurd of the Vˆlsungs, and the prince of all dragons.
Have a great Tuesday!