What we all know is that Houghton Mifflin will release The Hobbit: 70th Anniversary Edition, a new edition of The Hobbit with a short introduction by Christopher Tolkien, a reset text incorporating the most up-to-date corrections, and all of Tolkien’s own drawings and color illustrations, including the rare “Mirkwood” piece. It made me wonder if Harper Collins in the UK would also release a similar anniversary edition. So I wrote an email to David Brawn, the Publishing Director at HarperCollins with the following question:
Q. Are you planning a special edition for the 70th Anniversary of the Hobbit that no one knows about yet?
David Brawn: "The 70th Anniversary Edition has just been printed! It is the third book in the History of the Hobbit boxed set, and is a slightly different version of the deluxe edition we published three years ago. It replaces our standard hardcover edition - with a few additional features. It will become the new standard edition of the Hobbit for another 5 years."
This edition starts with a preface by Christopher Tolkien which was first published in the 1987 edition of the Hobbit, which was made to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Hobbit. It also has the 'Note on the text' by Douglas Anderson, author of the Annotated Hobbit, which was introduced in 2001. This edition is based on the reset edition which was first published in 2005.
The book ends with the first chapter of the Lord of the Rings, making the total amount of pages 300 in total. The paper has a broken white color and the text is written with a Linotype Plantin font; making the reading of this edition very pleasant. The font size and the letter spacing is also perfect, giving us a very nice new edition of the Hobbit.
So this is good news! We will celebrate 70 years the Hobbit with a new edition of the Hobbit. It will be sold together with the two volumes of the History of the Hobbit in a boxed set, but also seperately! It will be new definitive version that will stay up for sale in the coming years. Putting this 'new' hobbit in the celebration set is a logic thing...
Some months ago I was able to pre-order the History of the Hobbit boxed set, yet now it is no longer available for pre-order at amazon. So I also asked some info about that.
Q. The History of the Hobbit boxed set is no longer available for pre-order at amazon, does this mean the set will not be made or that it has been delayed? I also saw that there will be made paperback editions of The two volumes by John D. Rateliff in spring next year. Can I get some more info on this?
David Brawn: "The History of the Hobbit boxed set, complete with the anniversary Hobbit, is released on 17 September 2007. We are contacting amazon to encourage them to allow pre-orders."
"Paperbacks will be published in the spring, along with some other books yet to be announced."
Well, I can only say that this news makes me happy! But as for now the History of the Hobbit boxed set is still not available for pre-order (yet we now know it will be real soon). For those unable to wait you can always pre-order the US edition by Houghton Mifflin which also shows us a nice view on the box.
Spread the news about this J.R.R. Tolkien article: