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Old 05-28-2014, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lookout Mountain!
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Original text of The Hobbit--where to get it?

The Hobbit we've all read was revised to match up with the later-written Lord of the Rings. The original was different in many respects, the bit I know about is the riddle-game is different, and Gollum offers "a present" rather than to show the way out.

Where can I read the original 1934 text of The Hobbit? (Other than spending $20,000 or so on a 1st printing copy.)
Old 05-28-2014, 02:27 AM
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The first edition was published in 1937 (not 1934), the second in 1951, and the third in 1966. The later editions differed in a few ways from the first one, but it wasn't really that big a change. Mostly it was about the meeting of Bilbo and Gollum. You can find a complete comparison of the differences between the editions in The Annotated Hobbit, which is annotated by Douglas A. Anderson. It's in print. Here's a table of the differences between the Bilbo/Gollum scene:

Last edited by Wendell Wagner; 05-28-2014 at 02:29 AM.
Old 05-28-2014, 03:12 AM
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 363
The History of the Hobbit allegedly contains the original manuscript. I am sure the manuscript differs a bit from the first edition, but if you want the earliest form Tolkien was happy with......

Last edited by Fishtar; 05-28-2014 at 03:15 AM. Reason: Correcting
Old 05-28-2014, 08:15 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
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I think your best bet is looking at "The Annotated Hobbit"

It includes that original, if I recall. I got it from my local library, & it had lots of good info.

Editing to say: Oops! I didn't realize I was just seconding Wendell Wagner's recommendation.

Last edited by well he's back; 05-28-2014 at 08:16 AM.
Old 05-28-2014, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishtar View Post
HOTH is a fascinating read; The adventures of Bladorthin the wizard, Gandalf the dwarf, and the mighty dragon Pryftan. Oh, Bilbo the hobbit too...
Old 05-28-2014, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 3,490
I have not gotten around to reading "History of the Hobbit" (local libraries don't have it) - but with the recommendations here, I think I may have to find a copy.
Old 05-28-2014, 04:15 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Lookout Mountain!
Posts: 2,612
I shouldn't post late at night. I don't know where my fingers got 1934, but it wasn't from my brain.

So "History" or "Annotated" are it, absent a copy from 1937-1950.

And extra thanks for the "comparison" page WW, that's awesome!


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