J.R.R.Tolkien-The Hobbit

Essay by Dj-HardstyleCollege, UndergraduateA+, May 2005

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J.R.R. Tolkien's

The Hobbit

or there and back again

"The Hobbit" was J.R.R. Tolkien's first bestseller. It was first published in 1937 by George Allen and Unwin Publishers. It tells the miraculous story of the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins who travels east to steal a treasure from Smaug, a terrible dragon.


John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in South Africa in 1892 to English parents. In 1895, Tolkien, his mother and his younger brother returned to England where he simultaneously developed his academic and creative talents. After serving in World War I, Tolkien gained a post at Oxford University. He specialised in Anglo-Saxon and medieval literature, however, his great passion was philology.

His essay of 1936 entitled "Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics" remains a canonical work of West Midlands and Old English critical theory, as does his translation of the medieval poem "Sir Gawain and the Green Knight".

His passion for inventing languages resulted in a series of unprecedented mythological writings of fantastic verisimilitude set in the ontology of Middle Earth.

His 1917 manuscript "The Book of Lost Tales" established the world for both "The Silmarillion" (1977), posthumously published by his son Christopher, and "The Hobbit" (1937). Ten years later, its sequel entitled "The Lord of the Rings", a profound narrative revealing struggles between good and evil forces, was published in three volumes: "The Fellowship of the Ring" (1954), "The Two Towers" (1954), and "The Return of the King" (1955) were released.

Though Tolkien continued to publish a number of scholarly and mythological works, after his retirement from Oxford in 1959, he devoted himself to his work "The Silmarillion". This complex cycle of myths originated from his 1917 manuscript The Book of Lost Tales that he began soon after returning from the War. Its histories, genealogies, languages, and myths...

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