21.09.

1937: “The Hobbit” Published – a Novel of the Fervent Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien

1937: “The Hobbit” Published – a Novel of the Fervent Catholic J.R.R. Tolkien
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 21 September 1937
  • It is interesting to note that Tolkien personally made illustrations for the first edition of "The Hobbit", as well as the attractive cover of the book.

“The Hobbit”, one of the most successful novels of the 20th century in the field of fiction, was published on this day in 1937.

It was written by the 45-year-old J.R.R. Tolkien, a Professor of Anglo-Saxon Language at the famous Oxford University. That was Tolkien’s first fantasy novel, and he started to write it during the early 1930s.

He said he was assessing his students’ works when he started to write the novel.  He saw an empty sheet of paper, and suddenly wrote: “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.”

Tolkien finished his writing in 1932, and asked his friends to read “The Hobbit”. The famous C.S. Lewis, who wrote “The Chronicles of Narnia”, was among them. At the time, C. S. Lewis also was a lecturer at Oxford.

Tolkien was a fervent Catholic, and inspired C.S. Lewis to convert to Christianity. Tolkien was quite surprised when he heard that Lewis had become member of the Anglican Church (the Protestant church in England).

C. S. Lewis became a well-known defender of Christianity, and even a lay theologian. He wrote “The Chronicles of Narnia”, which are something akin to an allegorical representation of Christian themes.

“George Allen & Unwin Ltd.” (London) published “The Hobbit” on this day in 1937. It is interesting to note that Tolkien personally made illustrations for the first edition of “The Hobbit”, as well as the attractive cover of the book.

The success of “The Hobbit” was so great that the publishers wanted Tolkien to write another book. He agreed, but warned them that he was writing very slowly.  Tolkien also wrote “The Lord of the Rings”, which became popular throughout world.

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