A Wonderful First Edition “Hobbit,” the Author's First Novel
TOLKIEN, J.R.R. Hobbit. or There and Back Again. London: George Allen and Unwin , 1937.
First edition, first issue of the author’s first novel. One of 1500 copies. Octavo (7 1/2 x 5 3/8 inches; 191 x 135 mm). 310, [2, ads] pp. One plate (facing p. 146) and nine text illustrations (including frontispiece). With pictorial endpapers in red and black ink (“Thror’s Map” on front endpapers and “Map of Wilderland” on rear endpapers).

Original light green cloth decoratively stamped and lettered in dark blue on covers and spine, with Tolkien's own 'Mountains and Dragon' design. Top edge stained light green. Some minor sunning to outer edge of cover. Spine with some very light rubbing and mild dust staining. Preliminaries and fore-edge with some light foxing, otherwise the text is extremely clean. Previous owner's contemporary ink signature on front free endpaper. Overall a near fine copy. Housed in a full green calf clamshell.

"The Hobbit began as an amusement for the Tolkien children, and reached print rather unexpectedly, a typescript of it having been shown to Stanley Unwin by a former pupil of Tolkien's. Once published, however, it was an equally unexpected success. Unwin pressed Tolkien for a sequel." (Oxford Dictionary of National Biography).

Hammond A3a.

HBS # 67899 $13,500