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The History of The Hobbit

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The History of The Hobbit
The History of The Hobbit - Mr. Baggins.jpg
AuthorJohn Rateliff
PublisherHoughlin Mifflin
ReleasedMay 2007

The History of The Hobbit is an upcoming publication set to be released in two parts in May and June of 2007 by Harper Collins, and a boxed set in the U.S. in September by Houghlin Mifflin. Each volume contains 480 pages and includes unpublished manuscripts and drafts by J.R.R. Tolkien. The work presents an extensive study on the early development of The Hobbit, and also details how Tolkien made revisions to the story to accommodate the events in The Lord of the Rings. The Houghlin Mifflin boxed set will also include a new edition of The Hobbit with a short introduction by Christopher Tolkien, a reset text incorporating the most up-to-date corrections, and all of Tolkien’s own drawings and color illustrations, including the rare “Mirkwood” piece. **

"The big project, which I've been working on for years and will finally be sending to the publisher near the end of this year, is a book called The History of The Hobbit. It's rather along the lines of Christopher Tolkien's editions that make up the History of Middle-Earth series (which I highly recommend if you haven't read them): an edition of the original manuscript of The Hobbit with extensive commentary on how Mr. Baggins' story fits into Tolkien's legendarium. It's a big book filled with the entire text of Tolkien's first draft, along with short essays about everything from rings of invisibility or Tolkien's spiders to a detailed account of just when Tolkien wrote the book (which can actually be reconstructed from available evidence to within a month or two on either end). I hope people will like it when it finally sees the light of day."
John Rateliff



Volume I

  • David Bratman should be included among the participants in the Tolkien Symposiums
  • Kate Latham should be added to the Acknowledgements
  • pg. 260 refers to Plate VI, Firelight in Beorn's House as being in color when it is in black and white.
  • pg. 356 refers to incorrect page numbers.
  • pg. 400 - "ani-mals" should replace the incorrect "ani-Mals".
  • Second caption of Plate III - "Below" should be italicized.

Volume II

  • Coming soon.


External links