December 20, 2012

The Hobbit

As "The Hobbit" started last week in the cinema, I was doing a little research for "Hobbit" books and was surprised how many editions and different covers exist. I was also surprised to find out, that the cover illustration of my own copy is by J.R.R. Tolkien himself.

(J.R.R. Tolkien: Der kleine Hobbit, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, 1999)

It's so much fun to view all the different covers out there. Most of all I like this great black and yellow cover of the Columbian edition, which has been published this year.

The scans below are lent from Babel Hobbits. Marek presents on his site illustrated "Hobbit" book editions from all over the world. To see the inside pages head over to his site.

(Illustrations: Jan Mlodozeniec/Jiri Salamoun)

(Illustrations: Tove Jansson)

Even more Hobbits under Besides his enormous collection Dutch hobbithunter Henk provides lots of useful informations for fans, like a list of translations (the Swedish translation in 1947 was the first, the original English edition "The Hobbit or There and Back Again" was published in 1937) and a chronological bibliography of the writings of Tolkien.

(Illustrations: Cees Kelfkens/Horus Engels)

(Cover illustration by J.R.R. Tolkien)

Tolkien's pictures and illustrations are combined in "Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien" and "J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator". All scans above by Babel Hobbits and Hobbithunter, thanks, Marek and Henk!


  1. I read the Swedish version that Tove Janson illustrated. It is one of the books that has stuck in my memory - not only for the story but for the beautiful illustrations.

    1. I love her illustrations. And Bilbo on the cover above looks a little bit like a Moomintroll, don't you think ;)

  2. I found Hobbit a bit different than the rest of the trilogy. I've never seen these illustrations but have to say they oh'right, quite appealing I would say. odszkodowanie uk

  3. Nice post. It shows how rich could a literature be in terms of translation.Through translating shows the rich blend of knowledge and culture in a society.Whether in . danish translation. or in any foreign language translation helps one to get acquainted with the thoughts, traditions, principles and actions of the people from the region