Friday, September 23, 2016

New Tolkien Book

The Hobbit
The Hobbit Facsimile First Edition
J.R.R. Tolkien
Release Date: September 22, 2016

The blurb:
This sumptuous gift set includes a replica of the very rare first edition of The Hobbit, the only edition where one can now read the original version of the story before Tolkien re-edited it to become the one enjoyed by readers since 1951. The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937, with a print run of 1,500 copies. With a beautiful cover design, nearly a dozen black & white illustrations and two black & red maps by the author himself, the book proved to be popular and was reprinted shortly afterwards. 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 5, when Tolkien decided in 1947 to revise the text to bring it better into accord with events as they were developing in its 'sequel', The Lord of the Rings - mean that the opportunity to read the book in its original form and format has become quite difficult. This special printing reprints the first edition, so that readers of all ages - not just 'children between the ages of 5 and 9', as Rayner Unwin famously declared in his report on the original submission - can finally enjoy Tolkien's story as it originally appeared.
I first saw rumors of this book back in 2010/2011 for the 75th anniversary of The Hobbit. However, it seems that nothing came of it back then - it was certainly never available for order. I'm glad to see it available now for the 80th anniversary. I've loved the previous facsimile edition of one of Tolkien's books - Mr. Bliss.

The Annotated HobbitAll I know is that I really want to get a copy of this one. Most of the information on the differing editions and rewrites of The Hobbit is already available, most notably through the Annotated Hobbit - another very spectacular book, which I am sad to admit, I have not actually read all the way through.

Maybe I'm also simply a sucker for slipcased books, especially when it comes to Tolkien. I know I'm something of a collector of Tolkien's books - see the somewhat scary list and photos posts for proof if you wish, but I've also fallen quite behind when it comes to actually reading the books. Not that that's going to stop me from continuing to add to my collection.

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