The Hobbit 70th Anniversary Edition by Harper Collins (last updated 13.09.07 by Pieter Collier) - Comments

Harper Collins Releases a Stunning 70th Anniversary Edition of The Hobbit

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."

The Hobbit 70th Anniversary Edition by Harper Collins UK front
And indeed when a review copy, see image, arrived this week I was completely stunned. This edition is one of the most beautiful I have seen. In all ways this new 'anniversary edition' is improving a lot on the current hardback edition of the Hobbit.

Now, the classic hardback edition is once again featuring the distinctive cover illustration painted by Tolkien himself, it has been redesigned to match the popular hardback editions of the three volumes of The Lord of the Rings, which also feature tolkien's cover illustrations.

The Hobbit 70th Anniversary Edition by Harper Collins UK back
The jacket is slightly mat, like a real watercolor painting, and reproduces tolkien's own dustjacket design for the very 1st UK edition. Here we can see a red sun and dragon which was tolkien's original wish; the red color that had been dropped by the publisher for the first edition jacket because of the high costs.

The inside of the dust wrapper is very sturdy and has a glossy finish. It is a very strong and high quality dust jacket and will stand the test of time. Harper Collins has done a wonderful job on this edition.

The Hobbit 70th Anniversary Edition by Harper Collins UK map
Both maps are also improved and are printed on high quality paper and show a color sheme which reproduces a real antique map, this really is very nice and makes the maps stand out even more.

Front endsheet:
Thror's Map. printed in black and red
Back endsheet: Wilderland, printed in black

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.

The Hobbit 70th Anniversary Edition by Harper Collins UK smaug
The illustrations in the book, 14 in total, are either inserted on glossy white paper and reduced in size (color drawings and the Black and White Mirkwood) or have been printed on the normal paper in the size of the text block (Black and White line drawings). The quality of the print is very high and the art by Tolkien really has been reproduced in a fantastic way.
This new edition replaces the old standard hard back edition and has the following aspects:

The Hobbit 70th Anniversary Edition

Paperback: 300 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0261103288
ISBN-13: 978-0261103283

Product Dimensions: 22.3 x 14.4 x 3 cm

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."

Publication Date: 17/09/2007 (UK)

Binding: Hardback
Format: 222x143mm
ISBN: 978-0-261-10291-0
Extent (approx.): 960 pages

Imprint: HarperCollins
Rights: OM
Division: HarperEntertainment

"Paperbacks will be published in the spring, along with some other books yet to be announced."

History of the Hobbit, Mr Baggins
Paperback: 480 pages
Publication date:
3 Mar 2008

History of the Hobbit, The: Return to bag-end
Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 3 Mar 2008

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.

Publication Date: 21/09/2007 (US)

Binding: Hardback
ISBN-10: 0618964401
ISBN-13: 978-0618964406
Extent (approx.): 960 pages

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Harper Collins Tolkien Collection
From the moment I received the new edition of the Hobbit I noticed the style of the book matched my favorite editions of The Lord of the Rings (boxed set with Lord of the Rings: A Reader's Companion), The Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and even with the already published The History of the Hobbit: Mr Baggins and The History of the Hobbit: Return to bag-end. Here is a picture of how a set will look like with this new addition. Happy birthday Bilbo Baggins!

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