Bilbo Baggins was enjoying his peaceful life in the Shire until the great wizard Bladorthin shows up at his door with a throng of dwarves. The leader of the dwarves, called Gandalf, tells about the dragon, Pryftan, who took over their home. This is how originally the tale of The Hobbit was told by J.R.R. Tolkien. It has a strange feel to it, since we all now know that Gandalf is not a dwarf and that the wizard that arrived at Bilbo's door was Gandalf.
Now with The Hobbit Movie being produced and next year celebrating 75 years The Hobbit, it is nice to see that HarperCollins has decided to bring us a revised and updated One Volume Edition of The History of The Hobbit.
The story of The Hobbit was constantly evolving because the world around Tolkien evolved, as did Tolkien's view on Middle-earth grow and some changes were needed to the original version of The Hobbit to make all books that took place in the same Middle-earth work. John D. Rateliff does an outstanding job of presenting the original draft and its subsequent transformation, including his own discoveries and commentaries along the way. I'm certain this book can be enjoyed by many and I'm happy to see this book available in one volume soon!
Somehow I always wondered if Peter Jackson ever took up the two volumes and read through them. Some pieces could be extremely informative and also it would give hime a big understanding on how The Hobbit links in with The Lord of the Rings. Well of the second Jackson Hobbit movies is called "Return to Bag-end" we will know he did find his inspiration in reading Rateliff.
|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".
In "The History of the Hobbit", John D. Rateliff not only presents the complete unpublished text of the original manuscript of J.R.R.Tolkien's The Hobbit, but also gives a lively and informative account of how the book came to be written and published. This book shows the numerous changes made to the story both before and after publication, and examines – chapter-by-chapter – why those changes were made and how they reflect Tolkien's ever-growing concept of Middle-earth.
The Hobbit was first published on 21 September 1937. Like its successor, The Lord of the Rings, it is a story that "grew in the telling", and many characters and story threads in the published text are completely different from what Tolkien first wrote to read aloud to his young sons as part of their "fireside reads".
This book also includes many little-known illustrations and previously unpublished maps for The Hobbit by Tolkien himself. Also featured are extensive annotations and commentaries on the date 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.
Like Christopher Tolkien’s The History of Middle-earth before it, this is a thoughtful yet exhaustive examination of one of the most treasured stories in English literature. Long overdue for a classic book almost celebrating 75 years in print, this companion edition offers fascinating new insights for those who have grown up with this enchanting tale, and will delight those who are about to enter Bilbo's round door for the first time.
About the author John D. Rateliff
John D. Rateliff moved to Wisconsin in 1981 in order to work with the Tolkien manuscripts at Marquette University. He has been active in Tolkien scholarship for many years, delivering papers on Tolkien and the Inklings. While at Marquette, he assisted in the collation of their holdings with those Christopher Tolkien was editing for his History of Middle-earth series. A professional editor, he lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three cats, only one of whom is named after a Tolkien character.
If you want to find out more about the author of this book please read the following interview with John D. Rateliff.
Other editions of The History of The Hobbit
The History of the Hobbit is also available in two volumes, being called The History of The Hobbit: Volume I: Mr. Baggins and The History of the Hobbit: Volume II: Return to Bag-End. Of course they were also published in an 70th anniversary boxed set. The books are also available in paperback format, which I like to use to read and make annotations in.
|Title: The History of the Hobbit: One Volume Edition
Author: John D. Rateliff
Publication Date: Revised Updated edition edition - October 27, 2011
Type: Hardcover, 960 pages
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