The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien was first published on 21 September 1937 – 75 years ago. It sold out by Christmas, but has never been out of print since.
The Hobbit cannot really be taken by itself, for “it stands on the threshold of one of the most immense and satisfying imaginative creations of our time" – namely The Lord of the Rings (Helms, Randel. Tolkien’s World. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1974. Print. Page 52). Tolkien based a lot of his material on early Germanic literature, poetry, and mythology. His experiences in the First World War are often described as a source for many of the thematic elements in Tolkien’s writing.
Both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings have been adapted multiple times for stage, screen, radio, board games, and video games. While many other authors had published works of fantasy before Tolkien, the great success of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings led directly to a popular resurgence of the genre.
Please check out our display in the hallway near the Electronic Classroom for more!