Someone I know, who is a lot younger than me, posted on social media yesterday that she’d just bought the complete set of books – The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. And she’s an LOTR virgin!
I don’t know many people of my generation who would fit that category. My wife is one, though. She didn’t make it past the first page of The Hobbit. Shock, horror – this wasn’t real. She couldn’t read about furry creatures who live in holes in the ground. (Surprising, perhaps, that our relationship didn’t founder there and then. But we’ve now been together for 33 years.)
Anyway, after telling Carol that I had copies of these books that are older than her, I said I would post pictures and here they are.
First up, The Hobbit paperback published in 1974. (Note: price on the back – 65p.)
Next, The Lord of the Rings trilogy in one volume…also from 1974.
Both these books travelled with me through journeys to France, Canada, and back to England in the mid 1980s.
I couldn’t resist buying the 50th Anniversary edition of The Hobbit (1987). I recall the bookseller saying he was disappointed the publisher had the anniversary banner printed on the cover instead of a sticker that could have been removed. It’s a lovely version of the book though with maps on the front and back inside covers and some previously unpublished illustrations by the author.
No surprise then that I also couldn’t resist buying the book of Tolkien Treasures (2018) when I saw it in our local bookshop last year. The author has compiled many of Tolkien’s illustrations and maps that are held in the Bodleian Library in Oxford. It’s a fascinating overview of his life and work.
So, to Carol, and any other readers who haven’t yet read the books, hope you enjoy the journeys and adventures that all start from a Hobbit hole in the peaceful surroundings of the Shire.