Tuesday, 14 December 2010

The Hobbit - 1976 Deluxe Edition - 2nd impression

Here's a book which, just like the Lord of the Rings in the same series, I didn't bother going for a 1st/1st edition in. Whilst those go for £275 on Ebay from time to time, this second impression cost just £30 on Amazon, and was a birthday gift from my wife. Indeed, it's worth checking Amazon as they have many books selling at below-ebay prices.

In the same style as the 1974 issue of the Deluxe Lord of the Rings, this deluxe Hobbit comes packed in a black box with a white paper label on the front. Again, the box is surprisingly delicate and really has little chance of withstanding time or pressure very well, but what it holds inside is what I am really interested in.

The Hobbit has probably THE nicest front cover of any of my books so far - the coloured gilt dragon on the front comes from one of Tolkien's designs and is amazing at catching the light. As the pic shows, there are a couple of marks on the front cover which is a bit annoying (it was in the listing but I thought I would take a risk). The effect they have is like hot wax has been dripped on the front, but I am guessing it's water damage - please leave a comment if you have any tips on how to repair, although I am imagining it's irreparable as the buckram cloth has swollen with the water?

The book is bound in black buckram cloth which makes the gilt work - including the lovely detail on the spine, stand out brilliantly.

Inside there are illustrations by Tolkien, which give the book a nice personal feel as opposed to the artistically brilliant Alan Lee pics. Not saying the pics aren't nice, but they certainly aren't technically as impressive as Lee's, which makes the book feel special. In fact, the pics are by Tolkien but coloured by H.E.Riddett. The interesting thing is that these pics are by the man himself, so give us a fantastic idea of what Tolkien pictured when he was writing.

All in all a nice book - solid and sturdy, with some nice personal pics inside. It now sits inside a custom slip-case along with the Poems and Stories in the same collection, but more of that next time!


  1. What a beautiful book :)Thanks for the review!

  2. That book is a beauty - really something special! And the drawings look interesting too. I wish I could offer advice on repairing the damage. Thanks for sharing! Best, Claudia