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An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography The Hobbit

Upper cover of the binding case for The HobbitThe Hobbit is the book that introduces most people to Middle-earth and to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien.  For many people The Hobbit is also the start of their collecting habit - and what a place to start!  It is seventy years since it's first publcation in 1937, and in that time there has been an endless stream of editions, binding variants, cover illustrations and illustrators.

The Unwin Years

The HarperCollins Years

Each entry in the bibliography gives details of the maps and illustrations included in a particular edition.  Rather than list the illustrations included in the edition for every entry they have been referred to as follows:

The Standard Eight Black & White Illustrations
Many editions include a series of eight black and white illustrations - In some editions these have been coloured by H.E. Riddett.

  • The Trolls
  • The Mountain-path
  • The Misty Mountains looking West
  • Beorn's Hall
  • The Elvenking's Gate
  • Lake Town
  • The Front Gate
  • The Hall at Bag-End

Colour Illustrations
When there is only a colour frontispiece present the illustration is The Hill: Hobbiton-across-the Water.  Prior to 1974 some editions included four colour illustrations.  These were:

  • The Hill: Hobbiton-across-the Water
  • Rivendell
  • Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves
  • Conversation with Smaug

From 1974 five colour illustrations were included in some editions:

  • The Hill: Hobbiton-across-the Water
  • Rivendell
  • Bilbo woke with the early sun in his eyes
  • Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raft-elves
  • Conversation with Smaug

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