Yesterday saw not only the launch of the new The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug trailer, but also another exciting release for Tolkien fans – the publication of the latest edition of the book which started it all! You may remember TORn’s post about Jemima Catlin, the young illustrator behind the first new illustrated edition of The Hobbit since Alan Lee’s iconic version in 1997. (Catlin is also the featured illustrator for the 2014 Tolkien Calendar.)
This book is now available for purchase in the US! (It was released by HarperCollins in the UK in September.) It’s a beautiful edition. The hardcover, with cloth binding, is charmingly old fashioned, and the cover illustrations have gold accents, which shimmer with the promise of the magic contained within. Catlin’s images are a combination of pencil, ink and watercolour; there are many little pictures decorating the text, as well as more than ten full page, full colour pieces. The story is interpretated in lively, delightful drawings which show a new interpretation of old friends.
This is an edition to treasure, and would particularly be a wonderful introduction to The Hobbit for children. It’s a great reminder that, as spectacular as the movies are, the enchantment began in the pages of a fabulous book. If you’re thinking about holiday shopping already, add this to the list! I for one feel I can never have too many editions of The Hobbit; this beautiful new edition is certainly worth adding to your collection.