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The History of the Hobbit, Part One: Mr. Baggins

(The History of the Hobbit #1)

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  107,682 ratings  ·  68 reviews
First published in 1938, The Hobbit is a story that “grew in the telling,” and many characters and events in the published book are completely different from what Tolkien first wrote to read aloud to his young sons as part of their “fireside reads.” For the first time, The History of the Hobbit reproduces the original version of one of literature’s most famous stories, and ...more
Hardcover, 467 pages
Published September 21st 2007 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published May 1st 2007)
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Average rating 3.81  · 
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 ·  107,682 ratings  ·  68 reviews


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Start your review of The History of the Hobbit, Part One: Mr. Baggins
Michael
Mr. Baggins is a scholarly book and one more suited to the die-hard Tolkien enthusiast than the casual reader. That's not to say that it's dry or boring; quite the reverse, in fact.

This is a book about a book, or more precisely a book about part of a book, as it covers about 2/3s of the action of The Hobbit. Rateliff has taken a number of fragments and drafts of The Hobbit and presents them to us with copious notes and commentaries. Although the main plot is essentially the same as Tolkien's pub
...more
L
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: j-r-r-tolkien
Deeply fascinating and insightful this illuminating book is a must-read for all JRR Tolkien fans

Similarly to ‘The History of Middle Earth’ series (13 books in total) this book examines in detail ‘The Hobbit’ in regards to how this children’s story came into being and how it grew. First published on 21st September 1937, the Hobbit has become more than simply a ‘fireside story’ but something containing great meaning and value to many readers, both young and old. With the recent release of Peter J
...more
Lisa
Aug 02, 2010 rated it really liked it
The History of the Hobbit is a series similar to Christopher Tolkien's History of Middle-Earth, with Rateliff providing early manuscripts of the story, plot notes and his own commentaries, allowing fans to see how The Hobbit: Or There and Back Again was formed. While a few names differ from the published version, the story isn't so dissimilar from the published version we're used to. Indeed, the biggest change is probably the meeting between Gollum and Bilbo, which was only changed to the ve ...more
Othy
Nov 27, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: tolkien
Somewhat disappointing, unfortunately, especially compared to Christopher Tolkien's "History of Middle Earth." Most of the comments by Rateliff (the author) concern guessing influences on Tolkien's imagination or nit-picking small textual changes. It was good to read some of Tolkien's ideas of where The Hobbit might have gone, but I've been getting the feeling lately that we're delving a bit too much into Tolkien's creative process. Don't get me wrong, I love the Histories of Middle Earth, but t ...more
Jamie Steele
Jul 12, 2016 rated it liked it
Any history of Tolkein's writing is a history of the man himself and I would have liked to see it tied more closely to his own life. However various biographers and DVD special edition extras have done that to death already. What you're left with is a deep and scholarly dissemination of the writing process and how Middle Earth was built. A must read for anyone who considers themselves more than a casual fan, but a little dull for the rest of us. ...more
Haplila
Jun 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic. Terribly dry, but if you love the Hobbit and you love history(as I do) you'll enjoy this. Must read for anyone who love's hobbit story! ...more
Alex
Oct 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love Lord of the rings and I think this is a good precuel.
Dan'l Danehy-oakes
Oct 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This being the first of two closely-linked volumes, I shall keep my comments to a minimum here, reserving them for a full review of the whole when I finish reading Part 2.

Rateliff presents, with a fair plethora of apparatus (Introduction, text notes, chapter commentaries on divers topics, notes on the commentaries, appendices...), Tolkien's various drafts for _The Hobbit_, more or less chronologically as written. There are two of Tolkien's fairly typical false starts, followed by a long period o
...more
Rexa'S Books
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one-volume edition is absolutely amazing. The information in it is very detailed and Ratcliff has done an excellent job compiling and commenting on the various stages of The Hobbit creation. I definetely give it five stars. The book itself is of very high quality with a very pretty dustcover. If you take the dustcover off the book is also gorgeous to look at. The paper used for the book itself is matte with pictures in glossy paper. Certainly looks very well put together. Having everything ...more
Emy
May 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I found parts of this book good, but sometimes I didn't because it was written so long ago and it was written quite weird and old words. I took quite a while to read it because I wasn't really enjoying it too much and it was a relief to finish it. I really liked the movies though, so for me the movies were better ...more
Oliver Martin
Jul 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
as a massive tolkien fan, i really enjoyed this. it takes parts of the book and adds a lot of obseervations and notes and for me at least gave a lot iof intereing insights into the hobbits that i wouldnt perhaps have looked at otherwise. some people might find it a bit dry and lecture-like but i think the style suits the format. will definitely appeal to tolkien fans everywhere
Jacqueline Lee
Jul 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Hobbit was magical and exciting. I read this book in 6th grade which is very rare for me. I was not much of a reader and this book had me dreaming about The Middle Earth... I would even paint and draw pictures after each chapter which has lead me to LOVE the movies series of the Lord of the Rings which I have yet to read.
Michelle
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
Very interesting!
Wouldn't recommend unless you've read the hobbit a couple times, or just read it recently. If you've read even a bit of the history of middle earth, it makes it even more interesting. Glad I read this!
...more
Emily
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
This doesn't have the personal touch that the History of LOTR books did, but since the Hobbit was written when Tolkien's children were still small, there probably isn't a lot of personal insight they could have added to it anyway. ...more
Aliona Shokurova
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favourite childhood book. Thought I found a secret Treasure in the library shelfs. Mind blowing. Brought me into the land of fairies and dragons.
Jess
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Ken
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Emily
Aug 14, 2019 added it
IDK
K v
May 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Loved it
Philip Chaston
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
For fanatics like me.
Neta
Dec 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
great book but long and wordy
Arch
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Hassan
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Keon
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Sarina
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
J.W. Donley
Feb 28, 2021 rated it really liked it
This thing is information overload!
Elnora
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Candido
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Jedidiah
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
Cristal
Feb 11, 2021 rated it really liked it
A well written book. Enjoyed reading it.
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JOHN D. RATELIFFmoved to Wisconsin in 1981 in order to work with the Tolkien manuscripts at Marquette University. He has been active in Tolkien scholarship for many years, delivering papers on Tolkien and the Inklings. While at Marquette, he assisted in the collation of their holdings with those Christopher Tolkien was editing for his History of Middle-earth series. A professional editor, he lives ...more

Other books in the series

The History of the Hobbit (2 books)
  • The History of the Hobbit, Part Two: Return to Bag-End

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