Today in 1954, the second volume of English fantasy author J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings novel was published. Entitled The Two Towers, it comprises the third and fourth books in the series, which span from Boromir's fate to Frodo's kidnapping. As if being one of the best-selling novels of all time wasn't enough, Peter Jackson's film adaptations are also one of the most successful franchises ever in the medium.
Today in 1937, J. R. R. Tolkien released his epic children's novel The Hobbit to widespread critical acclaim. The story follows a Hobbit named Bilbo Baggins who undertakes a quest for fortune against the dragon Smaug. Nearly 17 years later, Tolkien would release The Lord of the Rings. In the years following, the world Tolkien created with these two novels would go on to become one of the most popular and most lauded fictional universes, encompassing radio, television, film, video games, and toys.