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Mankcam

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Which edition are you looking at? I want to get a hardcover edition. I've heard this is a good one (?)

This new edition of The Silmarillion contains the revised and corrected "second edition" text and, by way of introduction, a letter written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1951, which provides a brilliant exposition of his conception of the earlier Ages. It also contains almost fifty full-color illustrations by the artist Ted Nasmith, many of which appear for the first time.

View attachment 26927
I have the previous edition of this - slightly different cover, but the same inside with very good Ted Nadsmith art.
Well worth having, it's sits nicely alongside my Alan Lee The Hobbit and The Lord of the RIngs
 

Endless Flight

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This is actually my second marriage. If you add up the years I’ve been married in total, it’s over half my age. 25 out of 47 years. I knew I was getting up there when I could say I’ve been married longer than I was single.
 

Fenris-77

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This is actually my second marriage. If you add up the years I’ve been married in total, it’s over half my age. 25 out of 47 years. I knew I was getting up there when I could say I’ve been married longer than I was single.
I feel ya. My wife and I have been together for 25 years total, so I passed that milestone a couplenofbyears ago (I'm 43).
 

Nerag

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I was using the Cubicle 7 version of LotR as the basis for a conan style setting when I reread Lord of the Rings for my youngest and it pulled me back in. I'm currently thinking about running a game set of the southern continent where the PCs are working for the blue wizards trying to reduce the power of Sauron on the southern continent. At the moment I have the deserts of Haradwaith, the Savannah, the giant trees and oliphaunts of Far Harad and the mountains of the western coast that in my mind should be inhabited by a clan of dwarves. The central tension here is of the Colonial black numanorians and their cities vs. the free people of the south. It a very anti-colonial narrative that's developing and I am here for it. I have some of the old MERP books but I'm not using their maps so some things are being shifted around.
 

Voros

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It's funny as I could of sworn I posted pics of The Hobbit reprint of the first edition I picked up a few years ago but I can't find them with the search function. So I'm posting some pics I found online.

It is a nice edition but not so nice that you can't take it down from the shelf and actually read it.

The maps in the inside covers are particularly lovely.

The nice thing too is this edition is the original text with the later rewrite of some details by Tolkien to make it match LotR removed.

001399-1.jpg
 

Silent Green

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The nice thing too is this edition is the original text with the later rewrite of some details by Tolkien to make it match LotR removed.

There's an annotated version that discusses the differences. I have to track this down sometime. Of course, I only heared about it after I read the 1937 original alongside a 1991 printing (which is — AFAIK — the same as the 1966 edition, which isn't substantially different from the, er, 1952(?) one). Setting aside the dreaded half of the 5th chapter (Bilbo meets Gollum), it's not a big deal. There are some spelling errors corrected, a little bit of syntax and composition. Then there's weird stuff like, apparently Tolkien decided that there were no tomatos in Middle-Earth, so he swapped them out for pickles. What remains, the LotR retcon, isn't very much. Stuff like “when the elves came from the west” changes into “when the elves returned from the West” (not exact quotes), or “High Elves” instead of “gnomes”. But they still sing the same silly songs, and the king of the Mirkwood elves is still in it for the money, and the Necromancer is something of a bugaboo and not the End Of The World As They Know It. Maybe canon has it that The Hobbit is a toned-down in-world children's book, I don't know.

Then there's the 5th chapter. Half of it is exactly the same as in the later editions. The other half is a lot of reshuffling the same sentences. What remains falls broadly into two categories: The later editions add that Gollum came from outside the Misty Mountains and brought the Ring with him, the 1937 one doesn't mention anything about that. And while the later ones have him try and murder Bilbo to get his ring back after losing at riddles, in the 1937 edition Gollum shows Bilbo they way to the goblins' back door — as a substitute prize because he had mislaid the thing he put up in the first place: the Ring.

Actually, I find 1952 Gollum more plausible than 1937. Hand over the only tool for a substantial part of your sustenance (crawling up unseen to hapless fishing goblins to strangle them) because some random stranger beat you at riddles, arguably by cheating? Come on!

Or maybe it's not a big deal because invisibility rings can be found in pig's noses or gumball machines after all.
 

finarvyn

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I've seen a couple of sources that explain the differences in the 1st edition Hobbit and the revised one. Here is a short synopsis:
The Hobbit has been published in two editions. The second intended to be more in tune with The Lord of the Rings. For example, the first edition makes a reference to "tomatoes", which was altered to "pickles" by Tolkien in the second.

In the first edition, Gollum willingly bets his magic ring on the outcome of the riddle game. During the writing of The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien saw the need to revise this passage, in order to reflect the concept of the One Ring and its powerful hold on Gollum. Tolkien tried many different passages in the chapter that would become chapter 2 of the Lord of the Rings, "The Shadow of the Past". Eventually Tolkien decided a rewrite of The Hobbit was in order, and he sent a sample chapter of this rewrite ("Riddles in the Dark") to his publishers. Initially he heard nothing further, but when he was sent galley proofs of a new edition he learned to his surprise the new chapter had been incorporated as the result of a misunderstanding.

Tolkien explained the two different versions in the introduction of The Lord of the Rings, as well as inside "The Shadow of the Past", as a "lie" that Bilbo made up, probably because of the One Ring's influence on him, and which he originally wrote down in his book. Inside The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo finally confesses the real story at the Council of Elrond, although Gandalf had deduced the truth earlier. As Tolkien presented himself as the translator of the supposedly historic Red Book of Westmarch, where Bilbo and Frodo's stories were recorded, he further explained the two differing stories in The Hobbit by stating he had originally used Bilbo's original story, but later retranslated the work with the "true story" recorded by Frodo.

This first edition also mentions "gnomes", an earlier word Tolkien used to refer to the second kindred of the High Elves — the Noldor (or "Deep Elves"). Tolkien thought that "gnome", being derived from the Greek gnosis (knowledge), was a good name for the Noldor he created to be the wisest of the other Elves. But with its English connotations of a small, secretive, and unattractive creature, Tolkien removed it from later editions. He made other minor changes in order to conform the narrative to events in The Lord of the Rings and in the ideas he was developing for the Quenta Silmarillion.

However this still does not fit perfectly: even revised, The Hobbit is so much different in tone that it sometimes seems to belong in another universe from other Middle-earth works. Examples include the following:
  • Anachronisms: Bilbo has a clock. Many artists like John Howe prefer to omit it from their paintings. Bilbo also is mentioned to have matches for his pipe. In the world of Lord of the Rings matches had not yet been invented and all use flints.
  • The Trolls have English first and last names, like fairy-tale characters.
  • Lighthearted use of "magic": when Bilbo tries to steal a purse from the Trolls, the purse shouts.
  • Elves appear either as silly and mischievous (Rivendell) or even hostile (Mirkwood).
  • Orcs are still called Goblins, and are more like bogeymen than man-eating humanoid warriors.
  • Gandalf mentions Radagast as his cousin. (Then again, both Gandalf and Radagast are angelic Maiar spirits, and thus in a sense are "related", both being children of the thought of Eru Ilúvatar.)
  • The extensive mentioning (and brief appearance) of Giants. Giants were never developed in Tolkien's other works, but although they should exist and possibly take a grand part in the past and upcoming Wars, they are never mentioned again. Even if Giants are seen as a kind of large Trolls, they are hard to justify, as trolls are described as either incredibly stupid or incredibly evil: quite unlike the Stone Giants of The Hobbit.
Some of the tone differences can be explained by accepting Bilbo as the author of the work: Bilbo wrote the story of his journeys to recount them to the children of Hobbiton and therefore changed the story somewhat. Apparent major differences such as the different perception of the Ring can also be explained by Bilbo's lacking knowledge of these matters.

Source = The Hobbit 1st edition - Tolkien Gateway
 

Skywalker

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I've seen a couple of sources that explain the differences in the 1st edition Hobbit and the revised one. Here is a short synopsis:


Source = The Hobbit 1st edition - Tolkien Gateway

The differences are explained in detail in History of the Hobbit. I highly recommend these books as a great read.


The book also contains the first few chapters of what was to be the third edition of the Hobbit. Tolkien died before getting further than the Trolls, but the writing is drastically changed to match the more mature and detailed style seen in Lord of the Rings.
 

Lofgeornost

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The book also contains the first few chapters of what was to be the third edition of the Hobbit. Tolkien died before getting further than the Trolls, but the writing is drastically changed to match the more mature and detailed style seen in Lord of the Rings.

I think I'm glad that this was never finished and published. I like the lighter tone and prose of The Hobbit. I like LotR, too; I'm just glad we have both approaches rather than only one.
 

Skywalker

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Can't say I disagree. The third edition kind of felt like it was heading towards Jackson's version of the Hobbit. :smile:
 

Mankcam

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I would have loved to have both versions - the original would still be the fable-like interpretation, perhaps Bilbo's recollection - and the other version would have been something diiferent, more consistent with LOTR.
Ah well, we will never know now...
 

Brock Savage

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It just occurred to me, a mere Tolkien fan, that none of these "scholars" thought of Beorn. Like, didn't that guy serve the party honey cakes in The Hobbit?
 

JoeNuttall

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It just occurred to me, a mere Tolkien fan, that none of these "scholars" thought of Beorn. Like, didn't that guy serve the party honey cakes in The Hobbit?
My instant reaction also - Beorn has "bee pastures" and the gigantic size of the bees is mentioned - it's quite prominent in the story.
 
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