The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a story for children written by J.R.R. Tolkien in the tradition of the fairy tale. Tolkien wrote the story in the late 1920s initially to amuse his three sons. It was first published on September 21, 1937 to wide critical acclaim.
The Hobbit is set in a time "between the dawn of Faerie and the Dominion of Men", and follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins (the titular "Hobbit") to win his share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. His journey takes him from light-hearted, rural surroundings and into darker, deeper territory, meeting various denizens of the Wilderland along the way. By accepting the disreputable, romantic, fey and adventurous side of his nature (the "Tookish" side) and utilizing both his wits and common sense during the quest, Bilbo develops a new level of maturity, competence and wisdom.
While The Hobbit stands in its own right as a complete, self-contained story, it is also the precursor to Tolkien's second, longer novel The Lord of the Rings. The publisher requested a sequel due to the success of The Hobbit', though The Lord of the Rings was not to be finished and published until 17 years after the original. The Hobbit has been republished and adapted many times since its first edition.
- Bilbo Baggins, the titular protagonist, a respectable, comfort-loving, middle-aged hobbit.
- Gandalf, an itinerant wizard who introduces Bilbo to a company of thirteen dwarves, then disappears and reappears at key points in the story.
- Thorin Oakenshield, bombastic head of the company of dwarves and heir to a dwarven kingdom under the Lonely Mountain.
- Smaug, a dragon who long ago pillaged the dwarven kingdom of Thorin's grandfather.
The plot involves a host of other characters of varying importance, such as the twelve other dwarves of the company; elves; men (humans); trolls; goblins; giant spiders; eagles; Wargs (evil wolves); Elrond the sage; Gollum, a mysterious creature inhabiting an underground lake; Beorn, a man who can assume bear-form; and Bard the Bowman, a heroic archer of Lake-town.
Gandalf tricks Bilbo into hosting a party for Thorin's band of dwarves, who sing of reclaiming the Lonely Mountain and its vast treasure from the Dragon Smaug. When the music ends Gandalf unveils a map showing a secret door into the Mountain and proposes that the dumbfounded Bilbo serve as the expedition's "burglar". The dwarves ridicule the idea, but Bilbo, indignant, joins despite himself.
The group travels into the wild, where Gandalf saves the company from trolls and leads them to Rivendell. There Elrond reveals more secrets from the map. Passing over the Misty Mountains, they are caught by goblins and driven deep underground. Though Gandalf rescues them, Bilbo gets separated from the others as they flee the goblin tunnels. Groping along lost, he finds a ring and then encounters Gollum, who engages him in a game of riddles with deadly stakes. With the help of the ring (which confers invisibility), Bilbo escapes and rejoins the dwarves, raising his reputation. The goblins and Wargs give chase and the company are saved by eagles before resting in the house of the shape-shifter Beorn.
The company enter the black forest of Mirkwood without Gandalf. There Bilbo first saves the dwarves from Giant Spiders and then from the dungeons of the Wood-elves. Nearing the Lonely Mountain, the travellers are welcomed by the human inhabitants of Lake-town, who hope the dwarves will fulfil prophecies of Smaug's demise. The expedition travels to the Mountain and finds the secret door; Bilbo scouts the dragon's lair, stealing a great cup and learning of a weakness in Smaug's armour. The enraged dragon, deducing that Lake-town aided the intruder, sets out to destroy the town. A noble thrush who overheard Bilbo's report of Smaug's vulnerability reports it to Bard the Bowman, who slays the Dragon.
When the dwarves take possession of the mountain, Bilbo finds the prized Arkenstone gem and steals it. The Wood-elves and Lake-men besiege the Mountain and request compensation for their aid, reparations for Lake-town's destruction, and settlement of old claims on the treasure. Thorin refuses and, having summoned his kin from the north, reinforces his position. Bilbo tries to ransom the Arkenstone to head off a war, but Thorin is intransigent. He banishes Bilbo, and battle seems inevitable.
Gandalf reappears to warn all of an approaching army of goblins and Wargs. The dwarves, men, and elves band together, but only with the timely arrival of the eagles and Beorn do they win the Battle of Five Armies. Thorin, mortally wounded, lives long enough to part from Bilbo as a friend. The treasure is divided fairly, but, having no need or desire for it, Bilbo refuses most of his contracted share. Nevertheless, he returns home with enough to make himself a very wealthy hobbit.
Concept and creationEdit
In a 1955 letter to W. H. Auden, Tolkien recollects that in the early 1930s, when he was Professor of Anglo-Saxon at Pembroke College, he began The Hobbit when he was marking School Certificate papers. He found one blank page. Suddenly inspired he wrote the words "In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." He did not go any further than that at the time, although in the following years he drew up Thrór's map, outlining the geography of the tale. By late 1932 he had finished the story and gave it to C. S. Lewis to read. It was eventually published when a family friend and student of Tolkien's named Elaine Griffiths was lent the typescript of the story. When Griffiths was visited in Oxford by Susan Dagnall in 1936, a staffmember of the publisher George Allen & Unwin, she either lent Dagnall the book or suggested she borrow it from Tolkien (the sources differ). In any event, Miss Dagnall, impressed by it, showed the book to Stanley Unwin, who then asked his 10-year-old son Rayner to review it. Rayner wrote such an enthusiastic review of the book that it was published by Allen & Unwin.
George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of London published the first edition of The Hobbit on September 21, 1937. It was illustrated with many black-and-white drawings by Tolkien. The original printing numbered a mere 1,500 copies and sold out by December due to enthusiastic reviews. Houghton Mifflin of Boston and New York prepared an American edition to be released early in 1938 in which four of the illustrations would be colour plates. Allen & Unwin decided to incorporate the colour illustrations into their second printing, released at the end of 1937. Despite the book's popularity, paper rationing brought on by wartime conditions and not ended until 1949 meant that the book was often unavailable in this period.
Following the original publication of The Hobbit in 1937, new editions in English were published in 1951, 1966, 1978 and 1995 and the novel has been reprinted frequently by various publishers.  In addition, The Hobbit has been translated into over forty languages. Some languages have seen multiple translations.
In December 1937 Tolkien's publisher Stanley Unwin asked for a sequel. The editors rejected Tolkien's drafts for the Silmarillion, believing that the public wanted 'more about hobbits'. Accordingly the author began work on what would become The Lord of the Rings, a course that would not only change the context of the original story but also lead to substantial changes to the character Gollum.
In the first edition of The Hobbit, Gollum willingly bets his magic ring on the outcome of the riddle-game, and he and Bilbo part amicably. In order to reflect the new concept of the ring and its powerful hold on Gollum Tolkien decided a rewrite of the Gollum encounter in The Hobbit was in order, and he sent a revised version to his publishers. He heard nothing further for years. When he was sent galley proofs of a new edition he learned to his surprise the new chapter had been incorporated as the result of a misunderstanding. In The Lord of the Rings the original version of the riddle-game is explained as a "lie" made up by Bilbo, and that the revised versions of The Hobbit contain the "true" version of events. This became the second edition, published in 1951 in both the UK and America.
After an unauthorized paperback edition of The Lord of the Rings was published by Ace in 1965, Houghton Mifflin and Ballantine requested Tolkien to provide a new authorized text of The Hobbit, in order to re-assert US copyright control. This text became the (1966) third edition. Tolkien took the opportunity to further adjust the narrative to conform with The Lord of the Rings and to developments in his still unpublished Quenta Silmarillion as it stood at that time. These minor changes included, for example, that the phrase elves that are now called Gnomes, which appeared in the first and second editions on page 63, was changed to High Elves of the West, my kin in the third edition.. Tolkien had used "Gnome" in his earlier writing to refer to the second kindred of the High Elves—the Noldor (or "Deep Elves")—thinking that "gnome", derived from the Greek gnosis (knowledge), was a good name for the wisest of the Elves. However, with its common denotation of a garden gnome, Tolkien ultimately decided to abandon the usage.
In order to make a better tonal fit with its sequel Tolkien began a new version in 1966, removing the narrative asides. The revision was abandoned at chapter three after Tolkien received criticism that it 'just wasn't The Hobbit'.
In May and June 2007, HarperCollins and Houghton Mifflin published The History of The Hobbit in the United Kingdom. The work examines in two volumes previously unpublished original drafts of The Hobbit with extensive commentary by John Rateliff.
The basic form of the story is that of a quest, told in episodes, a traditional narrative form far removed from the literary movements of the 20th Century. The general tone is lighthearted, possibly following the model of "The Icelandic Journals" by Tolkien's literary idol William Morris, and interspersed with songs. The dramatic or dangerous scenes are undercut with a sense of humour, such as the foolishness of the Trolls or the onomatopoeic singing of the Goblins. It displays a close correlation with the narrative models of children's literature, including an omniscient narrator, characters that pre-adolescent children can identify with, an emphasis on the relationship between time and narrative progress, and a geography which separates notions of 'safe' and 'dangerous'. While Tolkien claimed later to dislike the aspect of the narrative voice addressing the reader directly the narrative voice contributes significantly to the success of the novel, and lends it to being read aloud.
The novel draws on Tolkien's knowledge of historical languages and early European texts (for example, the names of Gandalf and all but one of the thirteen dwarves were taken directly from the Old Norse poem "Voluspa" from the Elder Edda) and several of the authors illustrations make use of Anglo-Saxon runes.
The central character, Bilbo, is a modern anachronism exploring an essentially antique world. Bilbo is able to negotiate and interact within this antique world because language and tradition make connections between the two worlds. For example, Gollum's riddles are taken from old historical sources, whilst those of Bilbo come from modern nursery books. It is the form of the riddle-game, familiar to both, which allows Gollum and Bilbo to understand each other, rather than the content of the riddles themselves. This idea of a superficial contrast between characters' individual linguistic style, tone and sphere of interest, leading to an understanding of the deeper unity between the ancient and modern is a constant recurring theme throughout The Hobbit.
The Hobbit may be read as Tolkien's parable of the First World War, where the hero is plucked from his rural home, and thrown into a far off war where traditional types of heroism are shown to be futile and as such explores the theme of heroism. The theme of war portrayed in literature as an anti-pastoral is also seen in The Hobbit where the "Desolation of Smaug" both the area under the influence of Smaug before his demise and the setting for the "Battle of the Five Armies" after, is described as a barren, damaged landscape.
The Jungian concept of individuation is reflected through the theme of growing maturity and capability, with the author seen to be contrasting Bilbo's personal growth against the lack of that of the dwarves. The theme of a character entering into enclosed spaces (such as the various hills, caves, dungeons) has a Freudian dimension, with the additional analogue of the 'underworld' with the hero returning with a boon (such as the ring, or Elvish blades) which benefits his society is seen to fit the mythic archetypes regarding initiation and male coming of age as described by Joseph Campbell.
Greed plays a central role in the novel, with many of the episodes stemming from one or more of the characters simple desire for food (be it trolls eating dwarves, or dwarves eating Wood-elf fare) or a desire for beautiful objects, such as gold and jewels.
Reception and LegacyEdit
On first publication, The Hobbit was met with almost unanimously favourable reviews and was nominated for the Carnegie Medal. The year following the first edition saw it awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction of the year. More recently The Hobbit has been recognized as "Most Important 20th-Century Novel (for Older Readers)" in the Children's Books of the Century poll in Books for Keeps.
While The Hobbit has been adapted and elaborated upon in many ways, its sequel The Lord of the Rings is often claimed to be its greatest legacy. The plots share basic elements, but Tolkien wrote the later story in much less humorous tones and infused it with more complex moral and philosophical themes. The differences between the two stories can cause difficulties when readers expecting them to be similar find they are not. Some differences are in details; for example, goblins are more often referred to as Orcs in The Lord of the Rings. Many of the thematic differences arose because Tolkien wrote The Hobbit as a story for children, and The Lord of the Rings for the same audience who had subsequently grown up since its publication. Further, Tolkien's concept of Middle-earth was to continually change and slowly evolve throughout his life and writings.
BBC Radio 4 broadcast The Hobbit radio drama, adapted by Michael Kilgarriff, in eight parts (4 hours) from September to November 1968, which starred Anthony Jackson as narrator, Paul Daneman as Bilbo and Heron Carvic as Gandalf, it was released on audio cassette in 1988 and CD in 1997.
The Hobbit, an animated version of the story, produced by Rankin/Bass, debuted as a television movie in the United States in 1977. In 1978, Romeo Muller won a Peabody Award for his teleplay for The Hobbit in 1978. The film was also nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, but lost to Star Wars. The adaptation has been called "excruciable" and confusing for those not already familiar with the plot. (see also The Hobbit (1977 film))
The American radio theatre company The Mind's Eye produced an audio adaptation of "The Hobbit" which was released on six one-hour audio cassettes in 1979.
The BBC children's television series Jackanory presented an adaptation of The Hobbit in 1979. Unusually for the programme, the adaptation had multiple storytellers. According to one of the narrators David Wood, the release of the production on video has been repeatedly stopped by the Tolkien Estate.
Robert Inglis adapted and performed a one-man theatre play of The Hobbit. This performance led to him being asked to read/perform the unabridged audiobook for The Lord of the Rings for Recorded Books in 1990 and a year later he read the unabridged version of The Hobbit for the same company.
A live-action film version was announced on 18 December 2007, to be co-produced by MGM and New Line Cinema, and produced by Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson. It will be released in 2011, and shot simultaneously with another prequel. Guillermo Del Toro will be directing the double-bill. (See also The Lord of the Rings film trilogy: Prequels)
Graphic Media Edit
A three-part comic book adaptation with script by Chuck Dixon and Sean Deming and illustrated by David Wenzel was published by Eclipse Comics in 1989. A reprint collected in one volume was released by Del Rey Books in 2001, and it's cover by Donato Giancola was awarded the Association of Science Fiction Artists Award for Best Cover Illustration in 2002.
Leonard Nimoy sung a condensed version of the story of The Hobbit to a jaunty beat titled The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins. The recording originally appeared on the album The Two Sides of Leonard Nimoy released in 1968. A music video featuring sand-dunes and dancing girls was also produced.
Dean Burry was commissioned by the Canadian Children's Opera Chorus to write an operatic version of the story, for piano and choir, they performed the world premiere in 2004. The performance rights were subsequently locked up by Tolkien Enterprises before being released in 2006. The Sarasota Youth Opera requested full orchestration be prepared and their version will have its premiere in May 2008.
Board, War, and Roleplaying GamesEdit
The Hobbit has been the subject of several board games:
TSR released 2 editions of a wargame based on The Battle of Five Armies, designed by Larry Smith in 1976/1977 using cardboard tokens and a map of the area around the Lonely mountain as a game-area. The game was criticized for a lack of clearness in the rules, and praised for evoking the onslaught of the warg and goblin army.
The Lonely Mountain (1984, ICE), designed by Coleman Charlton, features groups of adventurers entering Smaug's Lair to capture his treasure before he awakens. The same year, the same publisher also published their version of The Battle of Five Armies  developed by Richard H. Britton, Coleman Charlton, and John Crowell, again a wargame using card counters and a paper map.
"The Hobbit Adventure Boardgame" (1997) was the last game from ICE based directly on The Hobbit they continued to publish the Middle-earth Role Playing Game a game licensed on both The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings properties which combined elements from both works, between 1982 and 1999.
The multi-Origin Award winning Middle-earth Strategic Gaming (formerly Middle-earth-Play by-Mail), run by GSI uses the Battle of Five Armies as an introductory scenario to the full game and includes characters and armies from the book.
Games Workshop released a Battle of Five Armies (2005) tabletop wargame, designed by Rick Priestley using highly detailed 10 mm figures sculpted by Mark Harrison, based on Games Workshop's Warmaster rules and designed for the home player.
Video Games EditSeveral computer and video games, both official and unofficial, have been based on the story. One of the most successful was The Hobbit, an award winning computer game developed in 1982 by Beam Software and published by Melbourne House for most computers available at the time. By arrangement with publishers, a copy of the novel was included with each game sold as it was said that clues to solve the game were to be found in the book, encouraging engagement with the text. The game won the Golden Joystick Award for Strategy Game of the Year in 1983 and was responsible for popularising the phrase "Thorin sits down and starts singing about gold". (see also The Hobbit (video game))
Sierra Entertainment published a platform game with action-RPG elements titled The Hobbit in 2003 for Windows PCs, PlayStation 2, Xbox, and Nintendo GameCube. A version, based on the same character design and story, but a 2D isometric platform, using 3D characters which were pre-rendered using models from the console version, was also published for the Game Boy Advance.(see also The Hobbit (2003 video game))
See also Edit
- English-language editions of The Hobbit
- Early American editions of The Hobbit
- Translations of The Hobbit
- The Quest of Erebor, Tolkien's retconned backstory for the novel in Unfinished Tales
- ↑ Houghton Mifflin - Children's Books. Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
- ↑ Auden, W.H. "The Hero is a Hobbit", The New York Times, 1954-10-31. Retrieved on 2007-07-28.
- ↑ Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Children’s Literature. Retrieved on 2007-09-29. “[...] honors books for younger readers (from “Young Adults” to picture books for beginning readers), in the tradition of The Hobbit or The Chronicles of Narnia.”
- ↑ Eaton, Anne T.. "A Delightfully Imaginative Journey", The New York Times, 1938-03-13.
- ↑ Langford, David (2001). "Lord of the Royalties". SFX magazine. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Matthews, Dorothy. "The Psychological Journey of Bilbo Baggins", A Tolkien Compass, 27-40.
- ↑ Template:ME-ref/LETTERS
- ↑ Template:ME-ref/CARPENTER
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 Template:ME-ref/LETTERS
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Template:ME-ref/CARPENTER
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 11.2 Hammond, Wayne; Douglas A. Anderson (1993). J. R. R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography. New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Press, 15,18,21,48,54. ISBN 0-938768-42-5.
- ↑ Anderson, Douglas A., ed.The Annotated Hobbit. Revised Edition. Harper Collins. London, 2003. ISBN 0-00-713726-3. pp. 22
- ↑ The Hobbit sells for £6,000, bbc.co.uk, 26/11/04
- ↑ Walne, Toby. How to make a killing from first editions Daily Telegraph 21/11/2007
- ↑ The Hobbit breaks records at auction bbc.co.uk, 12/07/02
- ↑ Anderson, Douglas A., ed.The Annotated Hobbit. Revised Edition. Harper Collins. London, 2003. ISBN 0-00-713726-3. pp. 384-386
- ↑ Anderson, The Annotated Hobbit p. 23
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 Carpenter, Humphrey (1977). J. R. R. Tolkien: A Biography. London: George Allen & Unwin. OCLC 3046822.
- ↑ Anderson, The Annotated Hobbit (1988)
- ↑ Template:ME-ref/FOTR
- ↑ Rateliff, John D The History of the Hobbit. Part 2: Return to Bag-End p765
- ↑ Anderson, The Annotated Hobbit (1988), Flies and Spiders, note 23
- ↑ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1937). The Hobbit. London: George Allen & Unwin, 63.
- ↑ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1951). The Hobbit. London: George Allen & Unwin, 63.
- ↑ Tolkien, J. R. R. (1966). The Hobbit. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 62.
- ↑ Rateliff, John D. The History of the Hobbit. Part 2: Return to Bag End. p781
- ↑ W. H. Auden, "The Quest Hero," in Rose A. Zimbardo and Neil D. Isaaca, eds., Understanding the Lord of the Rings: The Best of Tolkien Criticism. Houghton Mifflin Company. Boston, 2004. 31-51. ISBN 0-618-42251-x.
- ↑ 28.0 28.1 Jaume Alberdo Poveda Narrative Models in Tolkien's Stories of Middle Earth,Journal of English Studies, vol. 4, 2003-2004
- ↑ Amison, Anne An unexpected Guest. influence of William Morris on J. R. R. Tolkien's works, Mythlore2006
- ↑ 30.0 30.1 Helms, Randel McCraw: Myth, Magic and Meaning in Tolkien's World, Granada, 1976. pp.45-55
- ↑ Template:ME-ref/CARPENTER
- ↑ The Hobbit Major Themes, Cliff Notes, retrieved (30/01/08)[]
- ↑ Tolkien's Middle-earth: Lesson Plans, Unit Two. Houghton Mifflin. Retrieved on 2007-09-29.
- ↑ Shippey, Tom: Tolkien: Author of the Century, HarperCollins, 2000, p.41
- ↑ Carpenter, Humphrey: Tolkien and the Great War, Review, The Times 2003 Tolkien and the Great War, Review, The Times 2003
- ↑ Croft, Janet Brennan The Great War and Tolkien's Memory, an examination of World War I themes in The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings Mythlore, Fall-Winter, 2002
- ↑ The Hobbit on Bookrags
- ↑ Anderson, Douglas A., ed.The Annotated Hobbit. Revised Edition. Harper Collins. London, 2003. ISBN 0-00-713726-3.
- ↑ Tolkien Society FAQ: Did Tolkien win any awards for his books?
- ↑ Kocher, Paul Master of Middle-earth, the Achievement of J.R.R. Tolkien Penguin, 1974, Chapter 2: The Hobbit.
- ↑ Anderson, The Annotated Hobbit (1988)
- ↑ Tolkien, Christopher The History of Middle-earth, Vol 1 "The Book of Lost Tales", p.7
- ↑ Anderson, Douglas, The Annotated Hobbit, p.23
- ↑ 44.0 44.1 Bramlett, Perry C. I Am in Fact a Hobbit: An Introduction to the Life and Works of J. R. R. Tolkien, Mercer University Press, 2003 p.239
- ↑ Nicol Williamson on IMDB
- ↑ Anderson. Donald A. The Annotated Hobbit
- ↑ Kask, TJ, NBC's The Hobbit, Dragon Magazine, December 1977
- ↑ "The Hobbit". Jackanory. Internet Movie Database: Jackanory, "The Hobbit" (1979)
- ↑ David Woods website
- ↑ Photos of a performance during book-week in a school(retrieved 19/01/08)
- ↑ Audiofile Magazine interview with Rob Inglis (retrieved 19/01/08)
- ↑ "Peter Jackson to produce The Hobbit", CNN. Retrieved on 2007-12-18.
- ↑ Del Toro to take charge of The Hobbit | News | guardian.co.uk Film
- ↑ Cover photograph from Association of Science Fiction Artists retrieved (13/03/2008)
- ↑ Anderson, Douglas The Annotated Hobbit p. 23
- ↑ Angie Errigo, Paul Simpson The Rough Guide to the Lord of the Rings, Rough Guides, 2003 p 289-290
- ↑ The Hobbit ('Hobitti'), Op.78, Aulis Sallinen. ChesterNovello. Retrieved on 2007-12-02.
- ↑ Hobbits set for opera stage on cbc.ca
- ↑ Dean Burry, The Hobbit in Sarasota, April 2007, retrieved 17/02/07
- ↑ Easterbrook, Martin, Open Box Review White Dwarf (magazine) #3,Oct/Nov 1977 p 15
- ↑ 61.0 61.1 Newsboard, Fellowship Follows, White Dwarf (magazine) #57, September, 1984 p45
- ↑ "What is MERP?" on Other Hands
- ↑ More information can be found at: the Middle-earth Games page for the game (retrieved 25/02/08)
- ↑ Jones, Rich, Battle of the Five Armies Rules and miniatures for recreating battles in Middle Earth, Wargames Journal 1, 2005 p.91
- ↑ More information can be found at: Games Workshop's Specialist Games site
- ↑ Moore, Phil Using Computers in English: A Practical Guide, 1986, Routledge, pp. 44
- ↑ CRASH (magazine) #4, p. 43 
- ↑ Campbell, Stuart. Top 100 Speccy Games. Your Sinclair Magazine, #72 DEC 1991 pp.28
- ↑ Casamassina, Matt. The Hobbit (review) on IGN (retrieved 18/03/2008)
- ↑ Anon. The Hobbit (review) on IGN (retrieved 18/03/2008)
- The official Tolkien website.
- collection of edition covers, 1937 – 2007
- Every UK edition of The Hobbit
- Every Dutch edition of The Hobbit
- The Hobbit covers around the globe - gallery
Works by J. R. R. Tolkien
|Fiction||Songs for the Philologists (1936) · The Hobbit or There and Back Again (1937) · Leaf by Niggle (1945) · The Lay of Aotrou and Itroun (1945) · Farmer Giles of Ham (1949) · The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm's Son (1953) · The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (1954), The Two Towers (1954), The Return of the King (1955) · The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and Other Verses from the Red Book (1962) · The Road Goes Ever On (1967) · Tree and Leaf (1964) · The Tolkien Reader (1966) · Smith of Wootton Major (1967)|
|Posthumous fiction||The Father Christmas Letters (1976) · The Silmarillion (1977) · Unfinished Tales (1980) · Mr. Bliss (1982) · Bilbo's Last Song (1990) · The History of Middle-earth (12 Volumes) (1983–1996) · Roverandom (1998) · The Children of Húrin (2007) · The History of The Hobbit (2007) · The Legend of Sigurd and Gudrún (2009)|
|Academic||A Middle English Vocabulary (1922) · Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Middle English text, 1925) · Some Contributions to Middle-English Lexicography (1925) · The Devil's Coach Horses (1925) · Ancrene Wisse and Hali Meiðhad (1929) · The Name 'Nodens' (1932) · Sigelwara Land parts I and II, in Medium Aevum (1932-34) · Chaucer as a Philologist: The Reeve's Tale (1934) · Beowulf: The Monsters and the Critics (1936) · The Reeve's Tale: version prepared for recitation at the 'summer diversions' (1939) · On Fairy-Stories (1939) · Sir Orfeo (1944) · Ofermod and Beorhtnoth's Death (1953) · Middle English "Losenger": Sketch of an etymological and semantic enquiry (1953) · Ancrene Wisse: The English Text of the Ancrene Riwle (1962) · English and Welsh (1963) · Introduction to Tree and Leaf (1964) · Contributions to the Jerusalem Bible (as translator and lexicographer) (1966) · Tolkien on Tolkien (autobiographical) (1966)|
|Posthumous academic||Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl, and Sir Orfeo (Modern English translations, 1975) · Finn and Hengest (1982) · The Monsters and the Critics (1983) · Beowulf and the Critics (2002)|