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Book Details

The Hobbit

85.7% complete
1937
95,022
1978
3 times
See 19
1 - An Unexpected Party
2 - Roast Mutton
3 - A Short Rest
4 - Over Hill and Under Hill
5 - Riddles in the Dark
6 - Out of the Frying-Pan into the Fire
7 - Queer Lodgings
8 - Flies and Spiders
9 - Barrels Out of Bond
10 - A Warm Welcome
11 - On the Doorstep
12 - Inside Information
13 - Not at Home
14 - Fire and Water
15 - The Gathering of the Clouds
16 - A Thief in the Night
17 - The Clouds Burst
18 - The Return Journey
19 - The Last Stage
Book Cover
Has a genre Has a synopsis Has comments Has an extract Has a year read Has a rating In my library In a series 
1
 The Lord of the Rings*
#0.5 of 3
The Lord of the Rings*   See series as if on a bookshelf
The Lord of the Rings, the great epic trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien about Middle-Earth and the ending of an age.

0.5) The Hobbit
1) The Fellowship of the Ring
2) The Two Towers
3) The Return of the King
© 1937, 1938 and 1966 by J.R.R. Tolkien

Copyright © 1937 by The Tolkien Estate Limited
Copyright © 1966 by J.R.R. Tolkien
Copyright © nenewed 1994 by Christopher R. Tolkien, John F.R. Tolkien, and Priscilla M.A.R. Tolkien
Copyright © Restored 1996 by Estate of J.R.R. Tolkien, assigned 1997 to the J.R.R. Tolkien Copyright Trust
No dedication.
'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit'
May contain spoilers
'Thank goodness!' said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.
Comments may contain spoilers
Exerpt from the front cover of the 77th printing of the Hobbit:

And what is a Hobbit?

Hobbits are little people, smaller than dwarves.  They love peace and quiet and good tilled earth.  They dislike machines, but they are handy with tools.  They are nimble but don't like to hurry.  They have sharp ears and eyes.  They are inclined to be fat.  They wear bright colors but seldom wear shoes.  They like to laugh and eat (six meals a day) and drink.  They like parties and like to give and receive presents.  They inhabit a land they call The Shire, a place between the River Brandywine and the Far Downs.

THE HOBBIT is a story of these delightful creatures - a story complete in itself yet full of portent.  For this is the book that tells of Bilbo Baggins, the far-wandering hobbit who discovered (some say stole) the One Ring of Power and brought it back to The Shire.

And so this is the absolutely necessary beginning to the great story of the War of the Rings which J. R. R. Tolkien completes in his epic fantasy trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
Synopsis (may contain spoilers)
This is the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures with thirteen dwarves and a wizard named Gandalf as they journey to battle a dragon.  In this story we are introduced to Middle-Earth and its inhabitants including hobbits, elves, dwarves, goblins and wizards.

Extract (may contain spoilers)
"Well, thief!  I smell you and I feel your air.  I hear your breath.  Come along!  Help yourself again, there is plenty and to spare!"
    But Bilbo was not quite so unlearned in dragon-lore as all that, and if Smaug hoped to get him to come nearer so easily he was disappointed.  "No thank you, O Smaug the Tremendous!" he replied.  "I did not come for presents.  I only wished to have a look at you and see if you were truly as great as tales say.  I did not believe them."
    "Do you now?" said the dragon somewhat flattered, even though he did not believe a word of it.
    "Truly songs and tales fall utterly short of the reality, O Smaug the Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities," replied Bilbo.
    "You have nice manners for a thief and a liar," said the dragon.  "You seem familiar with my name, but I don't seem to remember smelling you before.  Who are you and were to you come from, may I ask?"
    "You may indeed!  I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my path led.  And through the air.  I am he that walks unseen."
    "So I can well believe," said Smaug, "but that is hardly your usual name."
    "I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly.  I was chosen for the lucky number."
    "Lovely titles," sneered the dragon.  "But lucky numbers don't always come off."
    "I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive from the water.  I came from the end of a bag, but no bag went over me."
    "These don't sound so creditable," scoffed Smaug.
    "I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles.  I and Ringwinner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider," went on Bilbo beginning to be pleased with his riddling.
    "That's better!" said Smaug.  "But don't let your imagination run away with you!"

Dramatis Personae
Character
Affiliation
Bilbo Baggins
Hobbit
Gandalf
Wizard
Dwalin
Dwarf
Balin
Dwarf
Kili
Dwarf
Fili
Dwarf
Dori
Dwarf
Nori
Dwarf
Ori
Dwarf
Oin
Dwarf
Gloin
Dwarf
Bifur
Dwarf
Bofur
Dwarf
Bombur
Dwarf
Thorin
Dwarf
Elrond
Elf
Beorn
Shape Shifer
Gollum
Creature
Smaug
Dragon
Bard
Human
Thranduil
Elf
Girion
Human
Bolg
Orc
Azog
Orc
Great Goblin
Orc
Tom
Troll
Bert
Troll
William
Troll

 

Added: 25-Nov-2002
Last Updated: 30-Mar-2023

Publications

 01-Oct-1973
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardback
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Oct-1973
Format:
Hardback
Cover Price:
$15.00
Pages*:
320
Internal ID:
9
ISBN:
0-395-17711-1
ISBN-13:
978-0-395-17711-2
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:
Boxed edition.

All Covers for this edition of the series

 01-Sep-1974
Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Sep-1974
Format:
Mass Market Paperback
Cover Price:
$1.50
Pages*:
287
Read:
Once
Internal ID:
8
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-24031-6
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-24031-6
Printing:
51
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
J R R Tolkien  - Cover Artist
Cover:
Book CoverBook Back CoverBook Spine
In this delightful and enthralling tale, J.R.R. Tolkien first created the imperishable world of fantasy called Middle-earth, and those charming, indomitable creatures, the hobbits, whose adventures are continued in "The Lord of the Rings."

"This paperback edition, and no other, has been published with my consent and co-operation.  Those who approve of courtesy (at least) to living authors will purchase it, and no other.:"  J.R.R. Tolkien
Notes and Comments:
This is the first version that I read.

All Covers for this edition of the series

 01-Apr-1981
Ballantine Books
Mass Market Paperback
In my libraryI read this editionOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Apr-1981
Format:
Mass Market Paperback
Cover Price:
$2.50
Pages*:
287
Read:
2 times
Internal ID:
1
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-29604-4
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-29604-7
Printing:
77
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
Peter S Beagle - Introduction
Darrell K Sweet  - Cover Artist
Cover:
Book CoverBook Back CoverBook Spine
THE RELUCTANT HOBBIT

Bilbo Baggins was a hobbit who wanted to be left alone in quiet comfort.  But the wizard Gandalf came along with a band of homeless dwarves.  Soon Bilbo was drawn into their quest, facing evil orcs, savage wolves, giant spiders, and worse unknown dangers.  Finally, it was Bilbo - alone and unaided - who had to confront the great dragon Smaug, the terror of an entire countryside.

This stirring adventure fantasy begins the tale of the hobbits that was continued by J.R.R. Tolkien in his bestselling epic, The Lord of the Rings.

SPECIAL SILVER JUBILEE EDITION
Notes and Comments:
First Ballentine Books Edition: August 1965
Revised Edition:
First Printing: February 1966
Seventy-seventh Printing: April 1981
Introduction Copyright © 1973 by Peter Beagle

I believe that this cover came out around the time the animated "Lord of the Rings" by Ralph Bakshi did.

I read this edition to my son in 2017.

All Covers for this edition of the series

 01-Oct-1988
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardback
In my libraryOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Oct-1988
Format:
Hardback
Cover Price:
$24.95
Pages*:
337
Internal ID:
47
ISBN:
0-395-47690-9
ISBN-13:
978-0-395-47690-1
Printing:
1
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
J R R Tolkien  - Cover Artist
Cover:
Book Cover
There is something for everyone in this annotated edition of one of the most popular books in this century.  General readers, fans of children's literature, and devotes of fantasy will appreciate this comprehensive gloss on The Hobbit, which delves into its scholarly roots in folklore, mythology, and language.

Many of Tolkien's own illustrations embellish the text, and numerous illustrations from foreign editions exhibit a fascinating range of visual interpretation.

For hardcore Tolkien fans and scholars, an appendix details all of Tolkien's revisions made at various times to the published text and provides an uncommon glimpse into the special concerns of an exceptional and painstaking writer.

The Hobbit is an ideal book for annotation, for it can be enjoyed on many levels.  Foremost, it is a wonderful story, and yet it is only a small part of the vast history of Tolkien's imagined world of Middle-earth, more fully realized in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.  It is the showcase of a man who amused himself during the writing of a story for his children by drawing on his own scholarly erudition.

J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973) was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford and a Fellow of Pembroke College from 1925 to 1945, and Professor of English Language and Literature and a Fellow of Merton College from 1945 until his retirement in 1959.  His chief interest was in the literary and linguistic aspects of the early English written tradition, especially Beowulf, the Ancrene Wisse, and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, but even as he studied these classics, he was creating a set of his own.  The Hobbit - published in 1937 by the venerable British firm of Allen & Unwin on the advise of ten-year-old Rayner Unwin - catapulted him to fame and gave rise to other major works, including The Lord of the Rings.  To date, Professor Tolkien's work has been translated into twenty-five languages; it has reached - and entranced - some twelve million readers.

Douglas A. Anderson has written the introduction to the recent authoritative edition of The Lord of the Rings.  He is a bookseller in Ithaca, New York.
Notes and Comments:

All Covers for this edition of the series

 01-Jan-1992
Ballantine Books
Paperback
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-1992
Format:
Paperback
Cover Price:
$5.95
Pages*:
304
Internal ID:
7
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-33968-1
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-33968-3
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:

All Covers for this edition of the series

 01-Sep-1997
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardback
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
 01-Jan-1998
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardback
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jan-1998
Format:
Hardback
Cover Price:
$16.00
Pages*:
320
Internal ID:
12
ISBN:
0-395-07122-4
ISBN-13:
978-0-395-07122-9
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:

All Covers for this edition of the series

 01-Sep-1999
Houghton Mifflin Company
Trade Paperback
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Sep-1999
Format:
Trade Paperback
Cover Price:
$12.00
Pages*:
320
Internal ID:
6
ISBN:
0-618-00221-9
ISBN-13:
978-0-618-00221-4
Printing:
13
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
Alan Lee  - Cover Artist
Cover:
Book Cover
A great modern classic and the prelude to The Lord of the Rings

"A flawless masterpiece."  - The Times (London)

"All those, young or old, who love a finely imagined story, beautifully told, will take The Hobbit to their hearts."  - Horn Book


J.R.R. Tolkien's own description for the original edition:

"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."

J.R.R. TOLKIEN (1892 - 1973) is one of the twentieth century's best-loved writers.  His books, which include The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion, have been translated into more than thirty languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.
Notes and Comments:

All Covers for this edition of the series

 24-Sep-2001
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardback
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
24-Sep-2001
Format:
Hardback
Cover Price:
$18.00
Pages*:
320
Internal ID:
13
ISBN:
0-618-16221-6
ISBN-13:
978-0-618-16221-5
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
Peter Sis  - Cover Artist
Cover:
Book Cover
Notes and Comments:

All Covers for this edition of the series

 16-Aug-2002
Houghton Mifflin Company
Hardback
Order from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
16-Aug-2002
Format:
Hardback
Cover Price:
$28.00
Pages*:
399
Internal ID:
10
ISBN:
0-618-13470-0
ISBN-13:
978-0-618-26030-0
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Cover:
Book Cover
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.
Notes and Comments:

All Covers for this edition of the series

 01-Jun-2020
Del Rey
Mass Market Paperback
In my libraryOrder from amazon.comHas a cover imageBook Edition Cover
Date Issued:
Cir 01-Jun-2020
Format:
Mass Market Paperback
Cover Price:
$8.99
Pages*:
305
Cover Link(s):
Internal ID:
13068
Publisher:
ISBN:
0-345-33968-1
ISBN-13:
978-0-345-33968-3
Printing:
179
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Credits:
Michael James Bowman  - Cover Artist
Cover:
Book CoverBook Back CoverBook Spine
THE STIRRING ADVENTURE THAT
BEGINS THE GREATEST FANTASY
EPIC OF OUR TIME


When Thorin Oakenshield and his band of dwarves embark upon a dangerous quest to reclaim their home from the ruthless dragon Smaug, Gandalf the wizard suggests an unlikely accomplice: Bilbo Baggins, an unassuming hobbit dwelling in peaceful Hobbiton.

As they journey from the wonders of Rivendell to the terrors of Mirkwood and beyond, Bilbo discovers within himself unexpected qualities of courage and cunning.  And with each step, a newfound love of adventure propels him toward his great destiny... a destiny that waits in the dark caverns beneath the Misty Mountains, where a twisted creature known as Gollum jealously guards a precious magic ring.
Notes and Comments:
2020 Del Rey Mass Market Edition
Del Rey mass market edition: June 2020
One hundred seventy-ninth printing based on the number line

Related

Author(s)

J R R Tolkien  
Birth: 03 Jan 1892 Bloemfontein, Orange Free State, South Africa
Death: 02 Sep 1973 Bournemouth, Dorset, England, UK

Awards

No awards found

*

  • I try to maintain page numbers for audiobooks even though obviously there aren't any. I do this to keep track of pages read and I try to use the Kindle version page numbers for this.
  • Synopses marked with an asterisk (*) were generated by an AI.
  • When specific publication dates are unknown (ie prefixed with a "Cir"), I try to get the publication date that is closest to the specific printing that I can.
  • When listing chapters, I only list chapters relevant to the story. I will usually leave off Author Notes, Indices, Acknowledgements, etc unless they are relevant to the story or the book is non-fiction.
  • Page numbers on this site are for the end of the main story. I normally do not include appendices, extra material, and other miscellaneous stuff at the end of the book in the page count.






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