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New editions of The History of The Hobbit are published

Dustjacket of the hardback of The History of The Hobbit
Dustjacket of the hardback of The History of The Hobbit
New hardback and deluxe editions of John D. Rateliff’s The History of The Hobbit are published today.

The History of The Hobbit was first published in 2007, and across two volumes features Tolkien’s drafts and notes on The Hobbit, previously unpublished artwork, and even Tolkien’s abandoned attempt at rewriting The Hobbit. All of this is collected together with commentary from Rateliff. A revised one-volume was published in 2011, which included additional information including on runes and Tengwar, and timeline of events.

The new hardback and deluxe editions of The History of The Hobbit include the same content as the 2011 single-volume edition, and are published in these formats for the first time. The hardback is published today for £34.99 (ISBN 978-0007440825). A deluxe version is also published for £100 (ISBN 978-0008601409), quarter-bound, stamped in gold foil with a unique design inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien’s own artwork, featuring a ribbon marker and housed in a matching custom-built slipcase.

The deluxe edition of The History of The Hobbit
The deluxe edition of The History of The Hobbit

From the publisher

In one volume for the first time, this revised and updated examination of how J.R.R.Tolkien came to write his original masterpiece The Hobbit includes his complete unpublished draft version of the story, together with notes and illustrations by Tolkien himself.

The Hobbit
was first published on 21 September 1937. Like its sequel, The Lord of the Rings, it is a story that ‘grew in the telling’, and many characters and plot threads in the published text are quite different from the story J.R.R. Tolkien first wrote to read aloud to his young sons as one of their ‘fireside reads’.

Together in one volume, The History of the Hobbit presents the complete text of the unpublished manuscript of The Hobbit, accompanied by John Rateliff’s lively and informative account of how the book came to be written and published. Recording the numerous changes made to the story both before and after publication, he examines – chapter by chapter – why those changes were made and how they reflect Tolkien’s ever-growing concept of Middle-earth.

As well as reproducing the original version of one of the world’s most popular novels – both on its own merits and as the foundation for The Lord of the Rings– this book includes many little-known illustrations and draft maps for The Hobbit by Tolkien himself. Also featured are extensive commentaries on the dates of composition, how Tolkien’s professional and early mythological writings influenced the story, the imaginary geography he created, and how Tolkien came to revise the book years after publication to accommodate events in The Lord of the Rings.

Endorsed by Christopher Tolkien as a companion to his essential 12-volume The History of Middle-earth, this thoughtful and exhaustive examination of one of the most treasured stories in English literature offers fascinating new insights for those who have grown up with this enchanting tale, and will delight any who are about to enter Bilbo’s round door for the first time.

About the Author: The Tolkien Society
The Tolkien Society is an educational charity and worldwide membership organisation devoted to promoting research into, and educating the public in, the life and works of J.R.R. Tolkien. The Society organises regular events (such as Oxonmoot and Tolkien Reading Day), publishes regular books and journal (such as Amon Hen and Mallorn), and is working towards a permanent home to Tolkien in the UK.