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Re: Question regarding the Pocket Hobbit

Subject: Re: Question regarding the Pocket Hobbit
by Findegil on 2012/2/18 16:00:26

Christopher Tolkien's preface in the "pocket edition" is a reprint of the text published in 2007, with a small change in pagination and the reproduction of Mirkwood. The 2007 text was revised and shortened, omitting the facsimile manuscript pages and the rest of the art printed earlier; presumably this was done because John Rateliff's History of The Hobbit was published that same year and included transcription from the earliest surviving manuscript as well as some comment on illustrations (for which one also could refer to our J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator).

Christopher's foreword (as it was first called) dates from the 50th anniversary Hobbit of 1987. It was revised and expanded in the deluxe edition of 2004, in which the manuscript facsimiles were printed in colour (they're in black and white in the 1987 edition). We reproduced Tolkien's illustrations in The Art of The Hobbit, but of the two pages of manuscript only the one with art on it (the early sketch of Thror's Map). John Rateliff also reproduced only the first of the two pages in his History.

A fuller comparison may be found in a new post on our blog.

The printing and binding of the "Pocket Hobbit" are perfectly good for an ordinary trade book, though of course the type (reduced from the standard edition) is somewhat small. Anyway, it doesn't include the full text of Christopher's foreword or the manuscript facsimiles.

Wayne & Christina