Details have emerged about John D. Rateliff’s forthcoming book, A Brief History of The Hobbit, thanks to a bit of investigating by Jason Fisher.
Due to be published on 11 September 2014, it essentially constitutes an abridgement of Rateliff’s The History of The Hobbit first published in 2007. It focuses on presenting the first draft of The Hobbit, with a considerable reduction of Rateliff’s extensive commentary on the text.
According to the description released by the publisher:
This brand new, shorter edition of the critically acclaimed work includes J.R.R. Tolkien’s complete draft manuscript of ‘The Hobbit’, together with notes about its history, and is perfect for readers of all ages wishing to know more about how he came to write his beloved masterpiece.
A Brief History of the Hobbit presents the complete unpublished text of the original manuscript of J.R.R.Tolkien’s The Hobbit, accompanied by John Rateliff’s lively and informative account of how the book came to be written and published. As well as recording important changes made to the story both before and after publication, it examines why those changes were made and how they reflect Tolkien’s ever-growing concept of Middle-earth.