John D. Rateliff


  • independent scholar

Pronouns: he, him

Probably the only Tolkien scholar to hail from Magnolia, Arkansas, John has at various times been a shoe-shine, library assistant, a long-time graduate student, fact-checker for a children’s books publisher, game editor, designer, and independent scholar. In addition to presenting papers on Tolkien and other fantasy writers at a number of conferences, he has helped organize two major Tolkien conferences and spent many years researching among Tolkien’s manuscripts at Marquette University, as well as other archives. Out of this work grew The History of The Hobbit, his two-volume edition of Tolkien’s original manuscript of The Hobbit. He has a special interest in the history of fantasy, and likes to describe his Ph.D. as a degree in fantasy.”

In addition to his scholarly work, John is also a longtime editor and designer for roleplaying games, particularly D&D, having worked for TSR (1991 – 96), Wizards of the Coast (1997 – 2001), and Hasbro/​WotC (2003 – 05), along with freelancing for a number of other companies.

He currently lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three cats, whose names derive respectively from a Beatles song, a Great Old One, and a Tolkien character.

On the web

Featured in

Raynor Memorial Libraries J.R.R. Tolkien Collection

Digital reprocessing

15 September 2021. William M. Fliss

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Peer-reviewed articles



Blog posts

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Authoritative information may be found here and here.

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source URL 🌐Sacnoth's Scriptorium
date recorded 📅2021-07-14
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