Tuesday, 21 September 2010

On this day...

J. R. R. Tolkein's 'The Hobbit', was published in 1937. Set in the fictional land of 'Middle-Earth', Tolkein's novel began when he found an empty page in between school certificates, and penned the famous first line, 'in a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit'. Not long after, he had written a whole manuscript, and, having sent it to friends, including fellow writer C.S. Lewis, it was published five years later.

Such was the novel's immediate popularity, that by December of the same year, all 1,500 copies, complete with a Tolkein's own illustrations, had been sold, and publishers were already demanding a sequel be written. Despite not being available for lengthy periods of time, due to wartime paper rationing, the book has been translated into over 40 languages and remains a children's classic.

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