"The Hobbit" Is Released

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again is a fantasy novel and children's book by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Set in a time "Between the Dawn of Færie and the Dominion of Men", The Hobbit follows the quest of home-loving Bilbo Baggins to win a share of the treasure guarded by the dragon, Smaug. It was published on 21 September 1937 to wide critical acclaim, being nominated for the Carnegie Medal and awarded a prize from the New York Herald Tribune for best juvenile fiction. The book remains popular and is recognised as a classic children's book.

Tolkien never expected his stories to become popular, but by sheer accident a book he had written some years before for his own children, called The Hobbit, came in 1936 to the attention of Susan Dagnall, an employee of the London publishing firm George Allen & Unwin, who persuaded him to submit it for publication. However, the book attracted adult readers as well, and it became popular enough for the publishers to ask Tolkien to work on a sequel.