"Hobbit Dinner" in Rotterdam

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The "Hobbit Dinner" in Rotterdam refers to an event in which J.R.R. Tolkien participated on 28 March 1958. Tolkien had been invited to Rotterdam for a "Hobbit Dinner" by his Dutch publisher Het Spectrum and the bookseller Voorhoeve & Dietrich.[1][2]

The "Hobbit Dinner"

The dinner was held at an assembly hall, the Flevo-hall, part of a building called the Twaalf Provinciën Huis, that no longer exists. Author Hella Haasse was one of the guests at the large dinner.[2]

Tolkien's speech

Tolkien delivered his speech in English, Dutch and Elvish. He included the finishing statement: “[...] that it is now exactly twenty years since I began in earnest to complete the history of our renowned hobbit-ancestors of the Third Age. I look East, West, North, South, and I do not see Sauron; but I see that Saruman has many descendants. We Hobbits have against them no magic weapons. Yet, my gentlehobbits, I give you this toast: To the Hobbits. May they outlast the Sarumans and see spring again in the trees.[3]

In 1993, an audio recording of the speech was discovered by René van Rossenberg. An excerpt of the recording was released in 2014.[1]

See also