Could a poor boy really create such a book?

Tell of a community of wandering [hobbits] in ancient times; have all sorts of characters in your story, and involve them in all sorts of public and private vicissitudes; give them names–hundreds of them — pretending that they are real [Elvin] names of circa [3rd age of Middle Earth]; be lavish with cultural and technical details — manners and customs, arts and industries, political and religious institutions, rites, and traditions, include long and complicated military and economic histories; have your narrative cover a thousand years without any large gaps; keep a number of interrelated local histories going at once; feel free to introduce religious controversy and philosophical discussion, but always in a plausible setting; observe the appropriate literary conventions and explain the derivation and transmission of your varied historical materials.” (Collected Works of Hugh Nibley, Vol. 8, Ch. 11, pp. 221-2)

If you can do this you have the Lord of the Rings!

What do you mean its not a true story?

In the Book of Lost Tales we learn that a 5th century Anglo-Saxon Ottor Wǽfre (also called by Eriol and Aelfwine), a distant descendant of Earendil, felt the same sea-longing that his ancestor was so famous for. He’d heard legends of a great land to the west, and he eventually decided to sail and see if he could find it. After being directed there by “Ylmir” (Ulmo – god of the Elven pantheon) he found Tol Eressëa (a blessed island of the Elves within sight of Valinor, who principal city was Avallónë). There he came to spend a great deal of time with the elvish loremaster Pengolodh, who taught him their traditions and histories. Eventually, Ælfwine returned to England and wrote down the elvish stories. Fortunately through his writings the contents of the Red Book of Westmarch (which contained the Lord of the Rings etc.) was preserved and ultimately ended up in the hands of J.R.R. Tolkien who translated it for our day!

It must be true – Tolkien’s own writings say it is!