First edi­tion of JRR Tolkien’s ‘The Hob­bit’ sells for 137,000 pounds at Sotheby’s

The China Post - - ARTS & LEISURE -

A first edi­tion of “The Hob­bit” ac­com­pa­nied by a hand­writ­ten note in Elvish by UK au­thor J. R. R. Tolkien was sold by Sotheby’s at auc­tion on Thurs­day for 137,000 pounds ( US$ 211,000).

The book was a gift from the au­thor and is ded­i­cated to Miss Kather­ine (“Kitty”) Kil­bride, one of his first stu­dents at Leeds Uni­ver­sity in the 1920s.

The lines in Elvish — a lan­guage in­vented by Tolkien — are ex­tracts from a verse in “The Lost Road” a time- travel tale that Tolkien never com­pleted.

The book dates from 1937 and the price it fetched beat the pre­vi­ous auc­tion record for “The Hob­bit” of 50,000 pounds in 2008, Sotheby’s said in a state­ment.

Kil­bride was an in­valid and Tolkien sent her let­ters and cards through­out his life, as well as sup­ply­ing her with copies of his books as they were writ­ten.

Kil­bride’s thank- you let­ter for the vol­ume sold on Thurs­day is in Ox­ford’s Bodleian Li­brary and notes “what fun you must have had drawing out the maps.”

The popular book, which in­tro­duced char­ac­ters such as Bilbo Bag­gins who would re- ap­pear in the “Lord of the Rings” epic, was turned into a hugely suc­cess­ful fan­tasy film se­ries by direc­tor Peter Jack­son.

“The Hob­bit: The Battle of the Five Armies,” re­leased at the end of last year, was the last of six films adapted from Tolkien’s books.

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