J.R.R. Tolkien singing extract from The Hobbit “That’s what Bilbo Baggins hates”
Books that own my soul → The Hobbit by J.R.R. TolkienThere is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.
The Fall of Arthur by J.R.R. Tolkein
The world first publication of a previously unknown work by J.R.R. Tolkien, which tells the extraordinary story of the final days of England’s legendary hero, King Arthur.
The Fall of Arthur recounts in verse the last campaign of King Arthur who, even as he stands at the threshold of Mirkwood is summoned back to Britain by news of the treachery of Mordred. Already weakened in spirit by Guinevere’s infidelity with the now-exiled Lancelot, Arthur must rouse his knights to battle one last time against Mordred’s rebels and foreign mercenaries.
Powerful, passionate and filled with vivid imagery, The Fall of Arthur reveals Tolkien’s gift for storytelling at its brilliant best. Originally composed by J.R.R. Tolkien in the 1930s, this work was set aside for The Hobbit and has lain untouched for 80 years.
Now it has been edited for publication by Tolkien’s son, Christopher, who contributes three illuminating essays that explore the literary world of King Arthur, reveal the deeper meaning of the verses and the painstaking work that his father applied to bring it to a finished form, and the intriguing links between The Fall of Arthur and his greatest creation, Middle-earth.
The Fall of Arthur will be published on May 23, 2013 in the UK and May 1, 2013 in Australia (no US date yet) for £ 14.99.
September 21, 1937: The Hobbit is published.
J.R.R.Tolkien’s classic children’s novel turns 75 years old today. The book begins with the line “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit”, a sentence which, according to Tolkien, came to him spontaneously while marking papers. The first edition dust jacket was designed by the author himself, who also provided the black and white illustrations. Since 1937, The Hobbit has been translated into over forty languages and sold tens of millions of copies. The initial print of 1,500 copies ran out in three months, and response was unanimously favorable. Tolkien’s close friend and fellow fantasy author C.S. Lewis wrote in The Times Literary Supplement: ”Prediction is dangerous: but The Hobbit may well prove a classic.”
Perhaps The Hobbit’s greatest legacy was not the book itself but the sequel that was published seventeen years later - the far more complex first volume of The Lord of the Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring. Urged on by his publishers, who wished to make the most out of the smashing success that was The Hobbit, Tolkien worked on his sequel slowly and deliberately through the years of World War II and after. Both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings brought the popularity of fantasy literature to new heights and established Tolkien as the “father”of modern high fantasy.
The first film of Peter Jackson’s new trilogy, based off The Hobbit, is set to release in December.
“I hope none of my children will feel that the use of this name is a sentimental fancy… I never called Edith Lúthien— but she was the source of the story that in time became the chief part of the Silmarillion. It was first conceived in a woodland glade filled with hemlocks at Roos in Yorkshire…In those days her hair was raven, her skin clear, her eyes brighter than you have ever seen them, and she could sing — and dance. But the story has gone crooked, & I am left, and I cannot plead before the inexorable Mandos.”
HAPPY TOLKIEN WEEK!
Books that own my soul → The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. TolkienAnd we shouldn’t be here at all, if we’d known more about it before we started. But I suppose it’s often that way. The brave things in the old tales and songs, Mr. Frodo: adventures, as I used to call them. I used to think that they were things the wonderful folk of the stories went out and looked for, because they wanted them, because they were exciting and life was a bit dull, a kind of a sport, as you might say. But that’s not the way of it with the tales that really mattered, or the ones that stay in the mind. Folk seem to have been just landed in them, usually – their paths were laid that way, as you put it. But I expect they had lots of chances, like us, of turning back, only they didn’t.