Tolkien, J.R.R. | "May the wind under your wings bear you where the sun sails and the moon walks"
What is guaranteed?
The Hobbit or There and Back Again. London: George Allen & Unwin, Ltd., 1937
8vo (190 x 135 mm). 10 illustrations and cartographical endpapers in red and black by the author, 2pp. of publisher's advertisements at end; scattered light foxing. Publisher's illustrated cloth, after the author's designs, top edge green; spine slightly cocked, stray brown spots to cloth, edges foxed. Original pictorial dust-jacket after the author's design and illustrations, hand correction to rear flap denoting first issue; lightly toned, tiny nicks at head of spine and short closed tear at tail, short closed tear to front and rear panel each. Housed in a quarter leather folding case.
First edition, first issue of the first book in Tolkien's saga of Middle Earth. Tolkien began writing The Hobbit, or There and Back Again, as a Professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford University. Tolkien's creative perspective was born from a childhood spent briefly in South Africa and then rural England, a short but wretched tour during World War I, and an avid fascination with German philology.
Although it was originally billed as a children's book, The Hobbit attracted a varied audience and has been wildly popular since its initial publication. Tolkien built upon the tradition of fantasy literature developed by George MacDonald, Lewis Carroll, and the folk tales of Arabian Nights by inventing a new language—Elvish—and making it accessible for modern-day readers. Such creativity brought rave reviews for The Hobbit, which sold out its original print run of 1,500 copies three months after publication, leading the publishers to order more novels from Tolkien.
Author C.S. Lewis, fellow Oxford don and close friend, commented on this reception. "For it must be understood that this is a children's book only in the sense that the first of many readings can be undertaken in the nursery ... The Hobbit will be funnier to its youngest readers, and only years later, at a tenth or twentieth reading, will they begin to realize what deft scholarship and profound reflection have gone to make everything in it so ripe, so friendly, and in its way so true. Prediction is dangerous; but The Hobbit may well prove a classic."
An unrestored copy of this masterpiece of twentieth-century fantasy, rare in this condition
Condition as described in catalogue entry.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.