Sep 24 2012, 12:13pm
Post #26 of 26
- there are many copies of TH in the geordie library - Here's one; a lovely copy, one of only 600 in the world, signed by Alan Lee.
Two others of which I'm very fond are a 1st ed, 4th printing of 1946; and a copy of the 1951 Hobbit - this is the 2nd ed. 1st printing, also marked as the 5th printing overall. These two make a nice contrast; though they have the same cover design, and dustwrapper design, they are markedly different. For this is where Tolkien's text goes from 310 pages to 315 - Tolkien had re-written Ch.5, 'Riddles in the Dark', in order to make Gollum's character more in keeping with LotR.
The thing is that T. sent the revised chapter to Allen & Unwin in 1947 and then, having heard nothing back, forgot about it. He hadn't intended that they should print it; he just wanted to know what they thought of it, so he was surprised to see it in print when A&U sent him the proofs of the 2nd ed., in 1950. (see Letters no. 111, and 128-130).
Tolkien felt obliged to add a note to the 2nd ed, to the effect that Bilbo had fibbed to the dwarves about how he got away from Gollum, and now this is the real story.
All very amusing, actually.