The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien

The Hobbit or “There and Back Again” was written by JRR Tolkien in 1937 as a children’s fantasy. As Many of you may have read this book as a youngster or in later years, you realise you are reading a classic in our time. You may also have been following the visual production of The Hobbit on the TV recently. It is interesting to see if the visual sometimes when reading a book enhances or confirms our imagination? A tale of dwarfs on a continued adventure seeking gold. Our main character, Bilbo Baggins, someone we all know in real life enjoys comfort to the extreme, but is also an accomplished burglar and full of good fellowship!

Tolkien’s life was most interesting. He had a rocky childhood, living in Switzerland, Oxford and Birmingham. His marriage eventually to Edith Bratt in 1916 brought forth 4 children. Also in 1916 he was sent to the Somme and out in the trenches he suffered trench fever which recurred over the next two years. He was a lieutenant until the Armistice. He then worked on the New English Dictionary at Oxford, worked at Leeds University and back to Oxford. His works were well known as The Hobbit in 1937, Lord of the Rings in 1955. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and Beowulf.

His inspiration for The Hobbit cam particularly when as a child he lived in Birmingham – Moseley Bog, Sarehole Mill, Lickey Hill and Bilberry Hill.

Ros Pleasted