.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit (as well as the first two books of The Lord of the Rings) during his time as a Fellow and Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College of the University of Oxford in England. Tolkien recollected in a 1955 letter to W.H. Auden that The Hobbit began in the late 1920s when he was marking School Certificate papers and wrote the words "In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit" on the back of one of them. The Hobbit didn't go any further than that at the time, although in the following years he drew up Thror's map, outlining the geography of the tale. The story itself he wrote in the early 1930s, and it was eventually published because he lent it to the Rev. Mother of Cherwell Edge when she was sick with the flu, and while she had the manuscript it was seen by a former student who was employed in the office of Allen & Unwin, a British publishing house.