John Ronald Reuel Tolkien met Edith Bratt in 1908 at the age of 16, while she was 19. They fell in love. Forbidden to have any contact or correspondence with her by his guardian until he was of age, Tolkien waited until his 21st birthday and posted a letter asking Edith to marry him.
They were married for fifty-five years and had four children.
When Edith died in 1971 Tolkien had ‘Lúthien’ engraved on her tombstone. When he passed away two years later, the name ‘Beren’ was engraved below his.
“In Tolkien’s Middle-earth legendarium, Lúthien was the most beautiful of all the Children of Ilúvatar, and forsook her immortality for her love of the mortal warrior Beren. After Beren was captured by the forces of the Dark Lord Morgoth, Lúthien rode to his rescue upon the talking wolfhound Huan. Ultimately, when Beren was slain in battle against the demonic wolf Carcharoth, Lúthien approached the Valar, the angelic order of beings placed in charge of the world by Eru (God), and persuaded them to restore her beloved to life.”