Tolkien Collector's Guide
Important links:

Discuss The Rings of Power
-
Winner of the 2019 Tolkien Society award for Best Website


Letters From Father Christmas
$13.79
TolkienGuide is an Amazon.com affiliate

Implied hobbit sequel to LotR in Bombadil dust jacket copy 1968

Oct 5
2022/10/5 17:08:48 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

I've seen a photo of the front flap dust jacket copy for the third impression of The Adventures of Tom Bombadil, from 1968. It says:

"Here is something that no devotee of the Hobbit epic can afford to miss, while awaiting a further instalment of the history of these fascinating people. For during his renewed study of the 'Red Book', undertaken in order to prepare more of its contents for publication, the editor of The Lord of the Rings became interested in verses that are to be found in it, apart from those included in the various tales and legends: pieces written out on loose leaves, crowded into blank spaces, or scrawled in margins," etc.

Clearly implied is that there was to be another book about hobbits; the reference doesn't fit the "Silmarillion" materials. Of course, Tolkien had (so far as I've ever seen, anyway) no intention of writing any further book about hobbits, and unless I'm forgetting something the only further bit of hobbitry that he produced was "Bilbo's Last Song," which I don't think was even originally intended for publication. (It was a gift to someone, right?)

So I wondered if the text quoted above was written by someone at A&U without Tolkien's authorization. Does anyone know if it appeared with any other printing? If it appeared just with this 1968 printing, that might be because the "Hobbit Craze" that started in the States did reach the UK and the text was intended to capitalize in some way on it.

Does anyone know if this text was used in any other impression of the Adventures?

And I wonder if Tolkien didn't appreciate being represented as at work on more about hobbits.
Oct 5
2022/10/5 17:19:20 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The text was in the dust-jacket blurb of the first printing from 1962.

Not sure that it implies that a new book is being written about Hobbits, but more points out that this book is not about Hobbits.

10_633dbc950668b.jpg 772X1353 px
Oct 5
2022/10/5 17:19:49 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This seems to align with Tolkien's The New Shadow (a sequel to The Lord of the Rings), enough that perhaps that is what is being referred to.

Peoples of Middle-earth, p. 409-410:
In his Biography (p. 228) Humphrey Carpenter stated that in 1965 my father 'found a typescript of "The New Shadow"... further evidence is provided by a used envelope, postmarked 8 January 1968, on the back of which my father scribbed a passage concerning Borlas, developing further the account of his cir umstances at the time of the opening of the story.

Christopher goes on to state that the envidence shows the New Shadow manuscripts dated from the 1950s, but that Tolkien was still fiddling with them in 1968.
Oct 5
2022/10/5 17:21:19 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
This text is in the UK 1st impression and the implication is clear. I think I recall that the publishers were keen to have something more about hobbits and the verses were indeed what could be put together at that time.
Oct 5
2022/10/5 17:21:38 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Trotter wrote:

The text was in the dust-jacket blurb of the first printing from 1962.

Not sure that it implies that a new book is being written about Hobbits, but more points out that this book is not about Hobbits.

The blurb does state the Bombadil is an 'interim report' on Hobbit-lore, which does to me imply that there is more coming.
Oct 5
2022/10/5 18:57:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
FWIW, Hammond p.177-8: “In a letter of 11 October 1961 to Rayner Unwin he suggested the book as ‘an interim amusement’, i.e. between The Lord of the Rings and the still unfinished Silmarillion.
Oct 5
2022/10/5 19:48:18 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Ulmo wrote:

FWIW, Hammond p.177-8: “In a letter of 11 October 1961 to Rayner Unwin he suggested the book as ‘an interim amusement’, i.e. between The Lord of the Rings and the still unfinished Silmarillion.

I was about to say. Tolkien and Rayner were back and forth in letters at the time about finishing The Silmarillion, and Tolkien was telling other correspondents that he was working on it. The blurb was already on the Bombadil jacket with the first printing.

Wayne
Jump to Last