When pressed, I’ll say that I have two favourite novels. The first is The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and the second is Tolkien’s The Hobbit. If held at gunpoint, The Hobbit would rise to the very top of that list. It has awed and inspired me, entertained me and set me on my current career path. It’s with no exaggeration that I point to Tolkien’s novel as a life changer.
Part of that fascination can be traced back to the wonderful illustrations included in the novel by Tolkien himself. Now, thanks to a new edition of the, which is novel set to celebrate its 75th anniversary next year, fan can finally see the ‘lost’ illustrations.
The published version of The Hobbit includes around 20 illustrations by its author, as well as the well-known dust jacket painting of the mountains which Bilbo Baggins passes through on his adventures. But when HarperCollins began preparing for the book’s 75th anniversary next year, the publisher discovered Tolkien had actually created more than 100 illustrations, which lay buried in his archive at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and were only recently digitised.
What was your favourite illustration from The Hobbit?