Then something Tookish woke up inside him, and he wished to go and see the great mountains, and hear the pine-trees and the waterfalls, and explore the caves, and wear a sword instead of a walking stick. p.15-16Welcome to the start of our read-a-long! We'll be talking about Chapters 1 and 2 this week. If you haven't already done so, I'd suggest you follow by rss, email, twitter or Google+ to make sure you see the discussion posts. I'm aiming to have them scheduled to go up in the morning PST (GMT-8).
The Hobbit was written in the early 1930s as a story for Tolkien's children, but he wasn't convinced to have it published until 1936. It was published in 1937. In 1951, Tolkien made edits to better connect it with The Lord of the Rings, to be published three years later. Some editions feature some of Tolkien's own artwork (check out the 75th Anniversary editions if you'd like to see it).
In 'An Unexpected Party', we meet Bilbo Baggins, one of the Bagginses from under The Hill, as he meets Gandalf the Wizard outside his hobbit hole. The next day, Gandalf secretly invites thirteen dwarves to Bag End by signing the unknowing Bilbo up to be part of their adventure. An so Bilbo begins his first adventure, one that he, nor readers will ever forget.
Tolkien was a noted scholar of mythology and legends. Do you see the influence of his scholarly research this early in the novel? What do you think of the encounter with the trolls? Any favorite passages so far?