The Hobbit

TOLKIEN, J.R.R.

TOLKIEN, J.R.R. The Hobbit

Allen & Unwin, 1951.

Second revised edition (fifth printing overall). Original green cloth in pictorial dustwrapper designed by the author. Colour frontispiece by the author with full page black and white illustrations by the author throughout. A fine copy in a very good dustwrapper indeed, which shows a little wear to the head of the spine and corners and a short closed tear to the rear panel, but is generally bright and crisp.

The second edition of The Hobbit is significant for the substantial changes made by Tolkien in order to align the narrative of The Hobbit with the forthcoming The Lord Of The Rings.
In particular, the chapter Riddles In The Dark, was heavily revised to introduce the One Ring into the plot, replacing the magic ring Gollum bets in the Riddle Game of first edition. In the first edition Bilbo and Gollum part amicably with Gollum showing Bilbo the way out of the caverns. In this edition, when Bilbo wins the game Gollum attempts to kill him with the help of the ring, and then realising that Bilbo has the ring in his pocket, cries "Thief, thief, thief! Baggins! We hates it, we hates it for ever!" This importantly also reframes Gollum from a character of minor interest, to the corrupted and treacherous role he would play in the sequels.
Tolkien explains these changes cleverly in his prefatory note to this edition:
"More important is the matter of Chapter Five. There the true story of the ending of the Riddle Game, as it was eventually revealed (under pressure) by Bilbo to Gandalf, is now given according the the Red Book, in place of the version Bilbo first gave to his friends, and actually set down in his diary. This departure from the truth on the part of a most honest hobbit was a portent of great significance. It does not, however, concern the present story, and those who in this edition make their first acquaintance with hobbit-lore need not trouble about it. Its explanation lies in the history of the Ring, as it is set out in the chronicles of the Red Book of Westmarch, and it must await their publication."

Hammon A3c.

Stock ID: 40914

£5,000.00

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