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The Art of the Hobbit [Special Edition] [Hardcover]

J. R. R. Tolkien , Wayne G. Hammond , Christina Scull
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 25.00
Price: 16.75 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

27 Oct 2011

To celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, a sumptuous full colour art book containing the complete collection of more than 100 Hobbit sketches, drawings, paintings and maps by J.R.R. Tolkien.

When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit, he was already an accomplished amateur artist, and drew illustrations for his book while it was still in manuscript. The Hobbit as first printed had ten black and white pictures, two maps, and binding and dust-jacket designs by its author. Later, Tolkien also painted five scenes for colour plates which are some of his best work. His illustrations for The Hobbit add an extra dimension to that remarkable book, and have long influenced how readers imagine Bilbo Baggins and his world.

To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Hobbit, the complete artwork created by the author for his story has been collected in The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien. Including related pictures, more than one hundred sketches, drawings, paintings, maps, and plans are presented here, preliminary and alternate versions and experimental designs as well as finished art. Some of these images are now published for the first time, and others for the first time in colour. Fresh digital scans from the Bodleian Libraries in Oxford and Marquette University in Wisconsin allow Tolkien’s Hobbit pictures to be seen more vividly than ever before.

The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien has been written and edited by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, two of the leading experts on Tolkien and authors of the acclaimed J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion, and The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide.


Frequently Bought Together

The Art of the Hobbit + The Lord of the Rings Sketchbook: Portfolio + Chronicles: Art & Design (The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey)
Price For All Three: 46.90

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; 75th Anniversary Slipcased edition edition (27 Oct 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007440812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007440818
  • Product Dimensions: 27.2 x 2.3 x 26.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 49,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

J.R.R.Tolkien (1892-1973) was a distinguished academic, though he is best known for writing The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The Children of Hurin, plus other stories and essays. His books have been translated into over 50 languages and have sold many millions of copies worldwide.

Wayne G. Hammond is a librarian at the Chapin Library of Rare Books at Williams College, Massachusetts. Christina Scull is the former librarian of Sir John Soane’s Museum, London. As well as publishing books in their own names, together they have written ‘J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator’, The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion’ and the two-volume ‘J.R.R.Tolkien Companion and Guide’.


Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A marvellous gem of a collection 8 Nov 2011
By Sebastian Palmer TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I love this book! It's beautiful. For an ardent Tolkien-ophile like me it's pure pleasure to read the erudite and informative text, or pore over Tolkien's fabulous pictures. Tolkien's best artworks are truly wonderful, and his maps and cover designs are all of a piece with his 'gesamtkunstwerk', the total work of art and imagination that is his special act of genius.

Definitely something for the buff, this book assumes knowledge of Tolkien and his world, including, very naturally, The Hobbit itself. It's wonderful to learn more about the evolution of the book, for example the 'Home Manuscript', from which he read the story to his children, and in which illustrations played their part right from the beginning, and see how his maps, sketches, illustrations and design work, all fed into an ever-evolving creative process.

Learning about some of the specific triggers for Tolkien's ideas, for example his 'adventure' in the Swiss Alps in 1911 that inspired the part of the story (and the corresponding illustration, 'The Mountain Path') in which Bilbo and his companions are in the mountains during a dramatic thunderstorm, or the historical buildings that inspired Beorn's hall, or the lake-town of Esgaroth, is both fascinating and deeply pleasurable.

The print quality is superb, with details that were not visible in the various book-form publications of The Hobbit now clearly there to be seen and enjoyed, and augmented by much more in the way of sketches and related artworks. As just one example of how this ancillary material enriches the Tolkien/Hobbit experience, consider that Tolkien wrote a beautifully executed calligraphic version of Thorin's note to Bilbo, in Tengwar script.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for Tolkien fans 28 Oct 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are familiar with Tolkien you will probably be familiar with many of the finished illustrations in this book, what makes it an essential Tolkien book though is all the sketches and roughs which Tolkien worked through in order to get to the finished illustrations. Add to this informative text and you have a winner. Finally, this book is very well produced, for the price it does have a nice quality feel about it, well worth the price.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definitely worth a purchase for Hobbit fans 4 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My main problem: this book doesn't fit very well on my Tolkien shelves (it is quite large and square, and so sticks out much further than the rest of the tall books)! However, I would definitely say that it is worth the purchase for fans interested in the evolution of the pictures in the finished book. I have the previous Tolkien art collections ('Pictures by Tolkien' and 'Artist and Illustrator') and neither of these covers all the pictures in this book, so it is still worth buying for those who have the earlier collections.

The book is extremely well presented, with a sturdy slipcase featuring the 'classic' cover design and then a white version of the Elvenking's hall picture printed onto blue-purple boards. The inside pages are glossy, with large, high-resolution pictures. There is a short introduction by the editors, giving some of the history and referring to the previously mentioned 'Artist and Illustrator', which they also compiled, as well as some text in each section describing the evolution of each artwork, referring to the enclosed numbered pictures. These are often on fold out sheets which can be quite hard to see if you aren't paying attention to the numbering systems, and folding these back in without creases can be a chore, but if you're used to messing around with the fiddly fold out maps at the end of the Tolkien's works then it shouldn't be a problem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice addition 2 May 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This edition is a nice addition to my collection of Tolkien books. I probably won't live to see another significant anniversary edition, like the centenary edition. Thus, it is a significant collector book for me.

(I risk) opening it and see the beautiful painted pictures of Tolkien's drawings - it really bring back good memories of the 1st time I read the book and it (now) creates new images of how I envisioned Bilbo would be troddling Middle Earth again.

Its a great book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I love this novels and it was a surprise for me to know about the drawings. I bought it only for they.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Gift 12 Dec 2011
Format:Hardcover
My boyfriend is a great fan of the Hobbit and this book was just the thing to get him as a gift. The illustrations are beautiful and the book itself looks great. Some of the pictures are just sketches with a few lines but still it is interesting to see how the illustrations went from a small outline to the final result. We haven't had a chance to read the accompanying text as of yet but a quick skim seems to say it is good also.

The book itself arrived incredibly quick! The day after I had ordered it, I was very impressed! All in all a brilliant buy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Archaeology of "The Hobbit" 28 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover
The book is a very extraordinary example of archaeology of the first work of Tolkien, "The Hobbit", from the point of view of the visual birth of the book before, perhaps, its literary one. Tolkien was surely a perfect creator of landscapes and wild panorama and this book is the final example of this skill.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A loving tribute to Tolkien's artistry 20 Nov 2011
Format:Hardcover
"The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien" is a beautiful coffee-table book. Everything about it breathes quality, from the carefully reproduced pictures to the wonderful design of the slip-case. The book supposedly includes every picture that Tolkien drew, sketched or painted for "The Hobbit", including some samples of calligraphy in his own writing systems. Most of the pictures have been published elsewhere, but never before collected in one volume and reproduced with such consistently high quality. Those familiar with Hammond and Scull's J. R. R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator will know what to expect, although this book is significantly thinner than the earlier volume. For the true Tolkien collector, this is a must-have. For the more laid back Tolkien fan, it is a nice book to brag about.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars The art of Tolkien
When J.R.R. Tolkien wrote his classic book "The Hobbit," he also made several illustrations for it. "The Art of The Hobbit by J.R.R. Read more
Published 1 month ago by E. A Solinas
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I wished it to be
If you like Tolkien's stories and imaginary worlds, you are probably wondering about how he himself was seeing them. And that artbook is a perfect answer. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Faranor
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful artwork
Beautiful artwork and nicely done. Did not know that Tolkien had drawn such artworks for the book. A must buy for Tolkien fans
Published 4 months ago by Soumen
5.0 out of 5 stars Hubbies birthday present
Would thoroughly recommend this book, my husband , who loves lord of the rings thought it was amazing. He loved seeing the drawings from Tolkien's mind.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. L. M. Gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars She asked for it!
My wife wanted this for her birthday and has loved it since it arrived. She says it's a must for the real fans of the Hobbit
Published 10 months ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars ADORE!
Such a gorgeous book to own (if you really love tolkien!) The quality of the images is great! Such an insight into a great man!
Published 10 months ago by Esther
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic however
I think the other reviewers offer a balanced view of this item however for a professionally produced book I would have expected the formatting to be perfect. Read more
Published 10 months ago by SneezyCharmed
5.0 out of 5 stars Much loved
A much loved gift for a fan. I thought it was a beautiful and exciting book and I'm not a Lord of the Rings fan.
Published 13 months ago by donnatello
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book!
I was looking for a Christmas present to offer to a passionate "Hobbit-fan" and collectioner and this book that became one the best pieces of his collection! Read more
Published 15 months ago by Colette
4.0 out of 5 stars For Tolkien Fans
A great book for people who have ready all of Tolkien's books and are looking for additional insights into his creative process.
Published 15 months ago by Toni
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