21 Sep 2009

September 21, 1937 - The Hobbit is published!

How does time fly when you are in good company, does it not? It must have been one very exciting morning in 1937 in Tolkien's house. On the 21st of September, on a crisp and fresh day, The Hobbit was first published. The book had a slow development which was a trait of Tolkien's writing, it was started, then abandoned in 1930, and was finally completed in 1936. Unlike its sequel, The Hobbit was primarily a book for children, in fact one of the very first reviewer on the story was in fact a ten year old child called Rayner Unwin. The voice of Tolkien can be heard by reading the story -- often the author addresses the reader directly , to joke or to give reassurance. The language in very informal, relaxed and very direct. Sometimes Tolkien's voice is there to help release the tension and dispel any anxiety a young reader may have.

The Hobbit is one of the most important and influential books of the 20Th Century. For it is simple easy to read, but the story it tells has shaped the world of literature and created a gateway into Middle-Earth for millions of people around the world. A book one can easily read and read again...now and for always!

The original art work by J.R.R. Tolkien that was used as a jacket for the first edition of The Hobbit. The art work dates back to 1935 and it's probably one of the best produced by Tolkien. Images via Lotrscrapbook and Tolkien Library.