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Things of Middle-earth

There and Back Again

Type: Books & Scrolls

Other Names:
The Hobbit


The early chapters of the Red Book, written by Bilbo Baggins and published separately under the name The Hobbit:
One autumn evening some years [after the Quest of Erebor] Bilbo was sitting in his study writing his memoirs — he thought of calling them 'There and Back Again, a Hobbit's Holiday' — when there was a ring at the door. It was Gandalf and... Balin.

The Hobbit, Ch 19, The Last Stage

[Information about Hobbits] will also be found in the selection from the Red Book of Westmarch that has already been published, under the title of The Hobbit. That story was derived from the earlier chapters of the Red Book, composed by Bilbo himself, the first Hobbit to become famous in the world at large, and called by him There and Back Again, since they told of his journey into the East and his return: an adventure which later involved all the Hobbits in the great events of that Age that are here related.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Concerning Hobbits

Now it is a curious fact that this is not the story as Bilbo first told it to his companions. To them his account was that Gollum had promised to give him a present, if he won the game; but when Gollum went to fetch it from his island he found the treasure was gone: a magic ring, which had been given to him long ago on his birthday. Bilbo guessed that this was the very ring that he had found, and as he had won the game, it was already his by right. But being in a tight place, he said nothing about it, and made Gollum show him the way out, as a reward instead of a present. This account Bilbo set down in his memoirs, and he seems never to have altered it himself, not even after the Council of Elrond. Evidently it still appeared in the original Red Book, as it did in several of the copies and abstracts. But many copies contain the true account (as an alternative), derived no doubt from notes by Frodo or Samwise, both of whom learned the truth, though they seem to have been unwilling to delete anything actually written by the old hobbit himself.

The Fellowship of the Ring, LoTR Prologue, Of the Finding of the Ring

Elena Tiriel 24Jun04, 15Jul04

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