The definitive edition of this beloved children's classic, featuring a wealth of accompanying illustrations and notes which take the reader further into both the story, and the tale of how it was written. Seldom has any book been so widely read and loved as J.R.R. Tolkien's classic tale, The Hobbit. Since its first publication in 1937 it has remained in print to delight each new generation of readers all over the world, and its hero, Bilbo Baggins, has taken his place among the ranks of the immortals: Alice, Pooh, Toad...As with all classics, repeated readings continue to bring new detail and perspectives to the reader's mind, and Tolkien's Middle-earth is a vast mine of treasures and knowledge, its roots delving deep into folklore, mythology and language. The Hobbit is, therefore, an ideal book for annotation: as well as offering a marvellous and entrancing story, it introduces the reader to the richly imagined world of Middle-earth, a world more fully and complexly realised in The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion. Douglas Anderson's annotations make fascinating reading. Additionally, many of Tolkien's own illustrations embellish the text, and numerous illustrations from foreign editions exhibit an extraordinary range of visual interpretation. In an appendix there are details of the revisions made by Tolkien at various times to the publsihed text, which provide an uncommon and privileged glimpse into the special concerns of an exceptional and painstaking writer.