HarperCollins has announced plans to publish a brand new edition of The Hobbit, illustrated with “a greatly enhanced” gallery of 50 paintings, maps and drawings by author J R R Tolkien.
HarperCollins holds world rights in all languages for the works of J R R Tolkien and the new edition of The Hobbit will be published in September 2023.
Chris Smith, publishing director, said: “Since it was first published in 1937, Tolkien’s The Hobbit has become a timeless classic, enchanting generations of readers around the world. Tolkien famously not only wrote the story, he illustrated it as well, and the 13 charming paintings and black and white illustrations he produced are as well known as the story of Bilbo and his quest to reach the mountain lair of Smaug the Dragon.
J R R Tolkien
“But this is only a part of the story. The tale of the little hobbit on a big adventure was first read by the professor to his children as part of their winter reads, using his ‘home manuscript’ of the story. Imagine hearing the tale told to you by its author, spun from golden yarn as he wove the adventure for you, thread by thread?
“Christopher Tolkien recalls that special time in his foreword included in this new illustrated edition of The Hobbit, and leading Tolkien scholars Wayne G Hammond and Christina Scull add that, in this ‘home manuscript’, Tolkien would have been free to illustrate his story using any medium he wanted: coloured pencil, chalk, crayon, ink and washes, a far cry from the restrictions imposed by the publisher on the illustrations printed in the published book.
“Now, in this new edition, readers will at last be able to enjoy the full panoply of Tolkien’s paintings, drawings, maps and designs that richly capture the enchanted world of Bilbo Baggins.”
About The Book:
For the first time ever, a special enhanced edition of the enchanting prelude to The Lord of the Rings, illustrated throughout with over 50 sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien himself and with the complete text printed in two colors.
Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely travelling further than the pantry of his hobbit-hole in Bag End. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard, Gandalf, and a company of thirteen dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an unexpected journey ‘there and back again.’ They have a plot to raid the treasure hoard of Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon . . .
Written for J.R.R. Tolkien’s own children, The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937. With a beautiful cover design, a handful of black & white drawings and two maps by the author himself, the book became an instant success and was reprinted shortly afterwards with five color plates.
Tolkien’s own selection of finished paintings and drawings have become inseparable from his text, adorning editions of The Hobbit for more than 85 years. But the published art has afforded only a glimpse of Tolkien’s creative process, and many additional sketches, colored drawings and maps – although exhibited and published elsewhere – have never appeared within the pages of The Hobbit.
In this unique enhanced edition of Tolkien’s enchanting classic tale, the full panoply of his art is reproduced for the first time, presenting more than 50 illustrations to accompany Bilbo Baggins on his adventure ‘there and back again.
Pre-order HERE. The book arrives September 19, 2023.