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Re: Australia's "Biggest Hobbit Fan" celebrates his growing Tolkien collection

Subject: Re: Australia's "Biggest Hobbit Fan" celebrates his growing Tolkien collection
by Trotter on 2011/6/23 10:34:32

wellinghall wrote:
He's also got a YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter account"
- wellinghall

I think this is where most or possibly all members of this board are going wrong

I'm only aware of one real Australian Tolkien collector, Stu

There is a lot more showing off in this article.

http://www.smh.com.au/entertainment/m ... -hole-20110601-1fgfu.html

'Peter Kenny does not want to wait for Christmas time next year, but he knows he'll just have to.

Like millions of fans worldwide, Kenny is counting down until December 2012 when The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of Peter Jackson's two Lord of the Rings prequels, will hit the big screen.

Yet Kenny probably feels the pain of delayed gratification more than most; he's the man many describe as Australia's biggest Hobbit fan thanks to his huge collection of Tolkien-related memorabilia, dedicated YouTube account, Facebook group and Twitter profile.

The super-fan, who also goes by his Hobbit pseudonym Fortinbras Proudfoot Esquire, has also travelled to Jackson's film sets and Tolkien fan events overseas, befriending researchers, actors, crew and “even a few Tolkien scholars”.

“They all comment on the collection,” he says.

“They say it's the most diverse if not the biggest collection in the world.”

Though he refuses to reveal the dollar value of a collection that spans books, movies and more, Kenny says it's “easily worth a small fortune.”

“And I'm adding to it all the time,” the proud collector says.

“Though I've become a lot more selective over the years I've been a fan.”

That's 35 years, total, Kenny says, and the evidence of his obsession is sprawled throughout his humble Brisbane Queenslander home.

Shelves bulge with a library of 360 books, cabinets groan with thousands of various items including swords, chess sets, trading cards, jewellery and wine goblets.

Kenny's walls are dotted with signed posters signed by Jackson's stars, Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom and Liv Tyler.

But Kenny, who also goes by his Hobbit pseudonym Fortinbras Proudfoot Esquire, says his favourite item is not the biggest nor most expensive (that honour is reserved for the one metre square 'Hobbit hole' recently acquired from the UK, sum undisclosed).

Instead, his first edition from the second printing of The Hobbit, which went to press in December 1937 just months after the primary run.

“Unfortunately I don't have a first edition, first printing because it's a little out of my price range,” Kenny says, adding one he was recently sold for in excess of $20,000.

“But this one is still very special.

“What's interesting about this book is that chapter five in this edition is completely different to what appears in the second edition Tolkien rewrote to fit in with his Lord of the Rings series.”

However it was a soft cover edition passed on from a friend in 1976 that kicked off Kenny's love-affair with Hobbits, "the smallest of people”.

“I just felt it was a really wonderful story,” the former school teacher says.

“I'd read it with my classes every year for around 30 years – I think I almost know it off by heart.”

The themes of love, friendship, willpower and duty struck a chord with Kenny, who also remembers admiring the way Tolkien built the character of his famous “anti-hero” Bilbo from beginning to end.

“I think the message in The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings is about how with faith, wisdom and determination, you can achieve anything.”

It is with that in mind that Kenny girds his loins for the long wait till The Hobbit films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There and Back Again, are released in 2012 and 2013 respectively.
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