Am 21. September 1937 erschien J.R.R. Tolkien's Buch The Hobbit über die Abenteuer des Hobbit Bilbo Baggins und den Schatz des Drachen Smaug. Aus den Figuren entwickelte Tolkien schliesslich ein paar Jahre später auf Drängen des Verlags 'The Lord of the Rings'.
So begannen die Abenteuer des einen Bilbo Baggins, Hobbit, aus Bag End. Bis heute wurde 'The Hobbit' über 100 Millionen Mal verkauft.
HarperCollins is marking the anniversary by releasing the first Latin translation of the book, Hobbitus Ille – “in foramine terrae habitabat hobbitus”; “In a hole in the ground, there lived a hobbit”) – as well as publishing a range of little-known sketches done by Tolkien himself as he was writing the novel, to bring the images in his head to life.
From Bilbo smoking his pipe in the wonderfully circular hall at Bag End – “a tube-shaped hall like a tunnel: a very comfortable tunnel without smoke, with panelled walls, and floors tiled and carpeted, provided with polished chairs, and lots and lots of pegs for hats and coats – the hobbit was fond of visitors” – to Lake Town and Hobbiton-across-the Water, the images are, according to the publisher, “a beautiful representation of the workings of Tolkien’s mind”. Only a small selection of the hundreds of drawings done by Tolkien were included in the original edition of The Hobbit, and although the artwork, held by the Tolkien estate, has since been published in a special edition book it has never received widespread publication.
The anniversary, though, is just the start of what will be an onslaught of all things Hobbit, as the 14 December release date approaches of the first of Peter Jackson's three-part film adaptation of the novel, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Let the adventures begin.