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   An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography

The Hobbit
1937
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The Bibliography

1910-1937 - The Early Years

1937 - The Hobbit

1938-1953 - The Middle Years

1954-1955 - The Lord of the Rings

1955-1973 - The Later Years

1974-1990 - After Tolkien Part 1

1991 Onwards - After Tolkien Part 2

Boxed Sets & Books in Slipcases

Languages and Alphabets

Other Credits

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!  Since it's first publcation in 1937, there has been an endless stream of editions, binding variants, cover illustrations and illustrators.

The Unwin Years
1937-1979
1980-1990

The HarperCollins Years
1991-1998
1999-Present

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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