The Hobbit is published - On this day in history

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21 September 2016
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21-September-TheHobbit_FirstEdition-68227.jpg Cover of the 1937 first edition of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit.
The Hobbit was published on 21 September 1937

On this day in history, 1937: The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is published. The children's fantasy novel by English author JRR Tolkien achieved wide critical acclaim, being nominated for theCarnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction.

The book remains popular and is recognised as a classic in children's literature.

The work has never been out of print and estimated global sales of The Hobbit run between 35 million and 100 million copies since 1937.

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The enduring popularity of The Hobbit makes early printings of the book attractive collectors' items. In 2008 a first edition copy of The Hobbit inscribed to Tolkien's friend Elaine Griffiths, who had originally helped get it published, sold at auction to an anonymous bidder for £60,000.

Old books can make precious family heirlooms, particularly if they contain an inscription – have you checked your family archives?

Pictured: Cover of the 1937 first edition of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit.