View full screen - View 1 of Lot 160. J.R.R. Tolkien | The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, first edition, PRESENTATION COPY, 1937.

J.R.R. Tolkien | The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, first edition, PRESENTATION COPY, 1937

Lot Closed

December 14, 04:40 PM GMT


15,000 - 20,000 GBP

Lot Details


J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1937

8vo (191 x 129mm.), PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR ("Mr and Mrs Livesley | & Edgar | with best wishes | from | J.R.R. Tolkien."), FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, 10 illustrations and cartographical endpapers in red and black by the author, 2pp. of publisher's advertisements at end, original green pictorial cloth, minor spots to title page, some light foxing to endpapers, small tear to hinge of rear endpaper, minor tears to lower corners and head and foot of spine, spine slightly skewed


Within a set of page proofs of The Hobbit, Tolkien wrote a list of family members, colleagues, friends and students to whom he wished to present copies of the book (see Appendix V within John D. Rateliff's second edition of his The History of The Hobbit, published in 2011). Intended recipients were E.V. Gordon; C.S. Lewis; Elaine Griffiths; K.M. Kilbride; Marjorie Incledon; Mary Incledon; R.W. Chambers; Aileen and Elizabeth Jennings; Mabel Mitton ("Aunt Mabel"); Florence Hadley ("Aunt Florence"); C.L. Wrenn; Simone d’Ardenne; Helen Buckhurst; Jane Neave; "Rattenbury" (thought by Rateliff to be R.M. Rattenbury, a lecturer in Classics at the University of Leeds); "Livesleys" (a couple who ran a guest house in Sidmouth); A.H. Smith; Jennie Grove; Stella Mills; W.R. Childe; George S. Gordon; and Hilary Tolkien. Rateliff notes that copies were also to go to the Oxford Magazine and the "Book Soc."

The Liveseys ran a guest house called Aurora at what is now Kennaway House in Sidmouth, Devon, with their son Edgar. J.R.R. Tolkien and his family used the property as a summer holiday home, and a part of Lord of the Rings was written during his stays there.