WINNER OF THE MYTHOPOEIC SCHOLARSHIP AWARD FOR INKLING STUDIES
For readers around the globe, The Hobbit serves as an introduction to the enchanting world of Middle-earth, home of elves, wizards, dwarves, goblins, dragons, orcs, and a host of other creatures depicted in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion - tales that sprang from the mind of the most beloved author of all time, J.R.R. Tolkien.
Newly expanded and completely redesigned, Douglas A. Anderson's The Annotated Hobbit is the definitive explication of the sources, characters, places, and things of J.R.R. Tolkien's timeless classic. Integrated with Anderson's notes and places alongside the fully restored and corrected text of the original story are more than 150 illustrations showing visual interpretations of The Hobbit specific to many of the cultures that have come to know and love Middle-earth. Tolkien's original line drawings, maps, and color paintings are also included, making this the most lavishly informative edition of The Hobbit available.
The Annotated Hobbit shows how J.R.R. Tolkien worked as a writer, what his influences and interests were, and how these relate to the details of Middle-earth. It gives a valuable overview of Tolkien's life and the publishing history of The Hobbit and explains how every feature of the story fits within the rest of Tolkien's invented world. Here we learn how Gollum's character was revised to accommodate the true nature of the One Ring, and we can read the full text of The Quest of Erebor, Gandalf's explanation of how he came to send Bilbo Baggins on his journey with the dwarves. Anderson also makes meaningful and often surprising connections to our own world and literary history - from Beowulf to The Marvelous Land of Snergs, from the Brothers Grimm to C. S. Lewis.
J.R.R. Tolkien was born on January 3, 1892. After serving in World War I, he embarked on a distinguished career as a professor of Anglo-Saxon University. A fellow of Pembroke College from 1925 to 1945, a professor of English language and literature, and a fellow of Merton College from 1945 until his retirement, he became known as one of the finest philologists in the world. He is the beloved creator of Middle-earth and the author of the great modern classic The Hobbit, the prelude to his epic masterpiece, The Lord of the Rings. Other works set in Middle-earth by J.R.R. Tolkien include The Silmarillion. Tolkien died in 1973, at the age of eighty-one.
Douglas A. Anderson is a renowned Tolkien scholar whose expertise in a complicated textual history and evolution of both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings has led to the inclusion of his essays on these topics in most editions of those works published in English since 1987. He collaborated with Wayne G. Hammond on J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography. With an expertise in the history of fantasy literature, he was instrumental in reintroducing the world to E. A. Wyke-Smith's The Marvelous Land of Snergs, a children's fantasy that Tolkien cited as an influence on The Hobbit, and to such neglected writers as Kenneth Morris, Clemence Housman, and Leonard Cline. Anderson lives in southwestern Michigan.
Jacket design: Michaela Sullivan
Cover illustrations by J.R.R. Tolkien
The completely revised and explanded edition no Tolkien fan should be without
The Annotated Hobbit
"Not only fascinating, but useful. It makes of The Hobbit a kind of Tolkien handbook."
- Washington Post Book World
"Hobbit fans will treasure it."
- Denver Post
J.R.R. Tolkien's own description for the original edition of THE HOBBIT:
If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did) - if you do not know all about these things - much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period.
For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is sad) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise.