"A Brief History of the Hobbit" presents that original manuscript version of The Hobbit, and this is accompanied by John D.Rateliff's lively and informative commentary, which looks at the story behind Tolkien's tale. As well as recording the numerous changes made both before and after publication, it examines - chapter-by-chapter - why those changes were made and how they reflect Tolkien's ever-growing concept of Middle-earth.
The original account of where Bilbo meets Gollum and steals the ring from him is reprinted here, as are little-known illustrations and maps that Tolkien produced for his own reference when drafting the story, together with his later attempt to recast The Hobbit into the style of The Lord of the Rings.
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