A fantastic reprint of The Hobbit will be released in 2014 (08.01.14 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit became an instant success when it was first published in 1937, and 75 years later Tolkien’s epic tale of elves, dwarves, trolls, goblins, myth, magic and adventure has lost none of its appeal. To commemorate this anniversary, HarperCollins will release a facsimile edition of the first historic printing of The Hobbit. A must-have for any collector or fan! It has been announced several times, but now we can pre-order it, so guess it will finally happen!!

It is a fascinating idea to have a true facsimile edition of The Hobbit made. But to have a true reproduction I wonder about some small details like the hand correction on back flap and the correct price on front flap - will they include this? How about the paper, the paper used for the dustjackets? It would be wonderfull to have an exact reproduction of the first printing.

The first impression of the first edition had publishers ink corrected text on the rear flap of the dust jacket ("Dodgson" was misspelled "Dodgeson"). But the dust jacket design was by Tolkien and it would be nice to see a fine facsimile edition released! But it makes me wonder if all mistakes (of which many are mentioned in Wayne Hammond's J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography) will be reproduced.

The Hobbit Facsimile First Edition to celebrate its 75th Anniversary

So what 'can' we expect from this special edition?

According to the Amazon the book will be as follows:

"This sumptuous gift set contains a replica of the very rare first edition of The Hobbit, plus a book about the books's publication history and a CD of previously unreleased archive recordings featuring J.R.R. Tolkien reading from his book."

Now that is great news, not that this will be the final description - since last time I checked with the publishers they were not certain about all the 'aspects'... but at least we know there is more archive recordings by Tolkien to be released!

The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937 with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design by the author and a coloured frontispiece painting, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted within three months, and history was already being made. The scarcity of the first edition has resulted in copies commanding huge prices, way beyond the reach of most Tolkien fans.

In addition, subsequent changes to the text - particularly those to chapter five when Tolkien decided to expand the text to marry it up to events in The Lord of the Rings - mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult. So here you have it: a facsimile reproduction of the 1937 edition complete with the original text (including the original "Riddles in the Dark" Chapter) and the original black and white illustrations.

To commemorate the 75th anniversary of publication, this special edition reprints the first edition, so that Tolkien's book may be enjoyed in its original form. Included in the box is a CD deaturing recordings of Tolkien reading extracts from the book, including more than half an hour of archive recordings only recently discovered and never before released.

In addition, a full colour booklet traces the origins of The Hobbit and its publication history, complete with a gallery of artwork and covers for this remarkable book.

Title: The Hobbit Facsimile First Edition
Author:
J.R.R. Tolkien

Publisher:
HarperCollins

Publication Date:
11 Sep 2014

Type:
hardcover, 312 pages
ISBN-10: 0-00-744083-9
ISBN-13: 978-0-00-744083-2

Brief History of Hobbit by John Rateliff

It seems the author John Rateliff of the fantastic The History of the Hobbit has been asked to produce a small booklet, probably already included in the gift set mentioned above. But one more clue added to this fabulous edition. Oh this is so exciting. We thought this facsimile print would have arrived in 2012, but it seems it is really going to happen now. Who else is excited? I'm pre-ordering and so should you - especially since the price is now far lower then what is to be the expected price. And Amazon has a rule to respect the order prices! So enjoy it while it lasts.

Title: Brief History of Hobbit
Author:
John Rateliff

Publisher:
HarperCollins

Publication Date:
11 Sep 2014

Type:
paperback
ISBN-10: 0007557256
ISBN-13: 978-0007557257

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