Friday 21 September 2012

Happy 75th Birthday - Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Elrond, Gollum, Smug...

Happy 75th Birthday - Bilbo, Gandalf, Thorin, Elrond, Gollum, Smug...

The Hobbit is 75 today. So I thought I do a quick blog about what The Hobbit has meant to me through my life.

I’m dyslexic so reading has always been difficult, The Hobbit was the one book that made me want to read on further despite it no being an easy endeavour,  opening me up to reading other more difficult books.  Its endearing characters and  enchanting story seemed to transport me into middle earth. Through my adolescent years I was toally obsessed by it. The obsession was a good one, for instance, my, The Hobbit, illustrations helped me achieve A grade in A-level Graphics, and my painting of Gollum, an A grade in A-level Art.

Just as my Tolkien fascination was subsiding, along came Peter Jackson's, Lord of The Rings Trilogy. The un-filmable book crafted into three stunning movies, which instantly became my favourite trilogy of all time.

But Hollywood aside, its J R R Tolkien’s skills as an author (and illustrator) especially in world building,that make the stories so inspiring. His ability to weave together his love fairy tales, myth and folklore to make the intricate tapestry of Middle Earth. I'm certain if it hadn't been for reading the Hobbit and Lord of The Rings, I’d never have picked up a pen.  

Tolkien’s inspiration for Middle Earth came from his children, The Hobbit; was born out of bedtime stories he told them, about a small man who lived in a hole. So how apt it is that on the 75 anniversary of The Hobbit’s publication, I’m in the midst of reading it to my Small People. They love it. Together we read a chapter and then use my Tolkien encyclopaedia to see what the characters and places look like, and see how far they've journeyed on the map.

So Happy Birthday to The Hobbit, & roll on December for the release of the movie! 


  1. Sally, thanks for your post on The Hobbit! It must be wonderful to share such a beloved book with your own children.

    I remember having a lot of trouble getting into The Hobbit. I kept getting almost halfway through and then losing steam just before they reached the Lonely Mountain. If only I had pushed through! The action really picks up just after the point I gave up at (twice!). I finally read and enjoyed the whole book the summer before my final year of secondary school, after having seen the first two Lord of the Rings films. And then I read the actual LotR books - and became obsessed and wrote two not very good fantasy novels. All very important to my development as a reader and writer.

    I need to re-read both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. Especially ahead of the new movie coming out! I hope they do it justice.

  2. Hi Erin,

    Thanks for sharing your experience with reading The Hobbit. As it had been a while since I'd read The Hobbit, i was surprised at how difficult it can be to get into, my children often need some help following the story as it's style of writing is much of its time, and so we need to talk about the extract we have read afterwards to make sure they both understood it. Having said that they usually surprise us with how much they've grasped.

    Watching The Hobbit Movie Trailers have really helped them visualise the world and evoke their imagination and interest.