21 September 2016
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.
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.