New Hobbit illustrations to see the light

2011-10-31 12:04
Cape Town - A number of original drawings made by author JRR Tolkien for The Hobbit are to be released for the first time this week to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the book's publication, The Guardian reports.

The published version of The Hobbit includes 20 illustrations by Tolkien, which include the famous original cover. Publisher HarperCollins however discovered that Tolkien had in fact created more than 100 illustrations which had remained hidden in his archive at the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

"That was a surprise. I thought there might be 40-50 in total," said publisher David Brawn. "But there are 110 Hobbit pictures, about two dozen of which haven't been published before."

Hobbit fever

The drawings which range from line drawings in ink to watercolours and sketches will be published by HarperCollins on October 27 as The Art of the Hobbit.

"It includes his conceptual sketches for the cover design, a couple of early versions of the maps and pages where he's experimenting with the runic forms, as well as a couple of manuscript pages," said Brawn. "It shows that Tolkien's creativity went beyond the writing, that it was a fully thought out conception.”

It is likely that the 75th anniversary celebration of Tolkien's first novel and the publication of the unseen illustrations will also heighten anticipation for Peter Jackson's film version of the book set for release in 2012.