5 Things You Didn’t Know about The Hobbit Book
“He was for long my only audience. Only from him did I ever get the idea that my ‘stuff’ could be more than a private hobby. But for his interest and unceasing eagerness for more I should never have brought The Lord of the Rings to a conclusion.” These words come from a letter written by J. R. R. Tolkien describing the “unpayable debt” he owned to C. S. Lewis - his close friend and fellow member of the Inklings, their reading and writing group based in Oxford.
Following the publication of The Hobbit in 1937, Tolkien’s publisher asked for a sequel in time for the next Christmas season. In what may be the greatest understatement in literary history, Tolkien wrote back that he had hopes to submit it early the following year.
Allen & Unwin did not get their Hobbit sequel in 1938 or even in time for the following Christmas. It took Tolkien twelve long years to complete The Lord of the Rings and several times he completely abandoned the massive project. Each time he did, C. S. Lewis was there urging him not to give up and wanting to know when Tolkien would have the next chapter for him to read.
The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings can be described as books that nearly weren’t. Here are five things you didn't know about The Hobbit Book.