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Quarta, 02 Janeiro 2013 20:00

Birthday gifts for hobbit and Tolkien fans

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Today we celebrate the Twelfty-First Birthday of the creator of The Hobbit J.R.R. Tolkien.

If we look in The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien at letter 112, we read how Katherine Farrer, an Oxford-based detective author, had apparently asked for her copy of The Hobbit to be signed. Instead, Tolkien wrote her a note in Runes.

In the letter, Tolkien thanks her for her request, and tells her he is glad The Hobbit is obtainable again (most stores had run out). I thought it was a nice idea to look at some nice Hobbit editions that would make great birthday gifts.

Of course, any nice limited edition or older printing would be a nice gift, but I wish to look at some more recent and lovely Hobbits that are not that expensive. Hobbits by the way would themselves give mathoms, and "Mathom" is a word invented by Tolkien, constructed from an obsolete Old English word máðm "treasure, precious thing". So let us look at some precious hobbits that would make nice birthday gifts!

J.R.R. Tolkien's own description for the original edition: "If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did) -- if you do not already know all about these things -- much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period. For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon, Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise."

The Hobbit Pocket Edition

To celebrate The Hobbit’s 75th anniversary of publication, a pocket-sized hardback of J.R.R. Tolkien’s timeless classic was released in October 2011, perfect for little Hobbits everywhere. With 110 by 151 mm this can be described as a pocket, but for the very first time we got a hardback pocket version of the Hobbit with Tolkien's cover design. It is the perfect edition for all people who want to have a copy of The Hobbit closeby.

Most of you will already know the story, but the book is about the hobbit Bilbo Baggins who enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services – as a burglar. Bilbo’s life is never to be the same again.

Featuring the distinctive cover illustration painted by Tolkien himself, plus his own drawings in the book, this edition will be the perfect gift for little Hobbits everywhere!

Title: The Hobbit Pocket EditionAuthor: J. R. R. TolkienPublisher: HarperCollinsPublication Date: 27 October 2011Type: hardcover, 304 pages, 75th Anniversary edition editionISBN-10: 0007440847ISBN-13: 978-0007440849

The Hobbit Pocket Deluxe Edition

In October 2012 Houghton Mifflin released another lovely pocket edition. This time it did not feature Tolkien's cover art, but they also wanted to make a special and precious The Hobbit, The Hobbit Pocket Deluxe Edition!

This charming deluxe pocket-sized edition contains the complete unabridged text and features a beautiful leatherette cover and gilt-edging. Another perfect gift for fine Hobbits everywhere! It does not only look good, it also includes a fabulous tale (just a tip).

Title: The Hobbit Pocket Deluxe EditionAuthor: J. R. R. TolkienPublisher: Houghton Mifflin HarcourtPublication Date: October 30, 2012Type: Deluxe edition, 320 pagesISBN-10: 0544045521ISBN-13: 978-0544045521

The Hobbit - Special Collector's Edition

The next gift could be the special collector’s film tie-in hardback of the best-selling classic, featuring the complete story with a sumptuous cover design inspired by THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY and brand new reproductions of all the drawings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

You have to think that somehow the publishers at Harper Collins are in the same mood as many Tolkien fans these days. And now that I see the cover they have produced for the special collector's edition a big smile appeared on my face. Here we have a cover that has nothing to do with the movies and shows us a scene of Demsterwold. Above the trees we see the butterflies that Bilbo was lucky enough to see, after climbing up in the trees, leaving the dwarves below in the darkness of the forest. I must say that this cover looks fantastic and I'm happy to see a minimalistic cover like this. The publishers could have chosen any character or film picture from the first movie, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, but wisely turned away from that.

Title: The Hobbit Special Collector's EditionPublishers: HarperCollinsAuthors: J. R. R. TolkienPublication Date: 30 Aug 2012Type: Special Collector's edition, 320 pagesISBN-10: 0007487304ISBN-13: 978-0007487301

The Hobbit (Part 1 and 2) in Slipcase

When it comes to mathoms this one is probably highest on my list of curious books. The Hobbit released in two volumes!

This edition was released on August 30 in 2012 as a tie-in with the Hobbit movies. It had just been announced that there would not be two but three movies. Alas for the publishers the sets were ready in two parts... and there you have it. One lovely boxed The Hobbit in two parts.

I'm however happy to see the publishers decided to stick with two and not a three volume edition! Also I love the design, which is wisely chosen and does not depict any of the movie characters, but just the view from Bilbo's round door. I'm impressed and am going to by this set for my kids for sure!

Title: The Hobbit (Part 1 and 2) SlipcasePublishers: HarperCollins Children's BooksAuthors: J. R. R. TolkienPublication Date: 30 Aug 2012Type: paperback, 368 pagesISBN-10: 0007488513ISBN-13: 978-0007488513

The Hobbit Paperback

And to end the series of tiny hobbits for hobbit and Tolkien fans. Any paperback from The Hobbit will make a perfect birthday gift. It happened to me one day as a child, someone gave me a well worn copy of The Hobbit... litle did they know it would change my life completely. It is probably the best gift you can ever give someone.

Seldom has any book been so widely read and loved as JRR Tolkien’s classic tale, The Hobbit. Since its first publication in 1937 it has remained in print to delight each new generation of readers all over the world, and its hero, Bilbo Baggins, has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals: Alice, Pooh, Toad…

Title: The Hobbit Publishers: Mariner BooksAuthors: J. R. R. TolkienPublication Date: September 18, 2012Type: paperback, 320 pages, Reprint editionISBN-10: 054792822XISBN-13: 978-0547928227

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