The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Hobbit was the first of several books that J.R.R. Tolkien published and which are set in Middle-earth. The Hobbit tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, who accepts a contract to act as a burglar on behalf of a small group of dwarves (led by the great Thorin Oakenshield). The dwarves were exiled from their ancient home by an evil dragon, Smaug, and they want to steal back some of their treasure. But little do they know that the wizard Gandalf has something else in mind.
Here are some questions about The Hobbit that may interest you:
Are There Any Christian Themes in The Hobbit?
ANSWER: I cannot think of any scholarly literature (off the top of my head) that deals with Christian themes in The Hobbit but you can find a few examples. It is beyond me to identify themes that may be specific or peculiar to Roman Catholic teachings.
The theme of redemption is explored in Thorinís relationship with Bilbo, through which Thorin relinquishes his desire for treasure and seeks peace and forgiveness. It could be argued that this is not necessarily a Christian idea but the intervention of Gandalf (even before Tolkien saw him as an angelic figure) in Thorinís dispute with Bilbo over the Arkenstone is similar to an act of divine protection.
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Does the Hobbit Take Place Before or After Biblical Events?
ANSWER: People often ask when the The Hobbit (and The Lord of the Rings) is supposed to take place in history. The Hobbit is, according to J.R.R. Tolkien, set in Middle-earth ó which he equated with our world, the entire Earth ó in ďan imaginary mythical ageĒ (Letter No. 144, April 1954). He explained the concept more fully in Letter No. 183 (written in January 1956):
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Were There Two Thrains in the Original Hobbit or Just One?
ANSWER: The History of The Hobbit has established unequivocably that there were indeed two Thrains in the first edition of The Hobbit, although by mistake. Few questions about the textual disparities in various fan communities take on such significance as to warrant a full dissection in any of the "authoritative" books. For the most part people generally agree that Christopher Tolkien is the highest available and final authority (among living commentators) on his fatherís intentions and personal interpretations of matters concerning the stories that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote.
Read the full answer here: Q: Were There Two Thrains in the Original Hobbit or Just One?
Why Did J.R.R. Tolkien Write The Hobbit?
ANSWER: Most people assume that J.R.R. Tolkien wrote The Hobbit to entertain his children. However, the real answer is more complex than that. According to John Rateliff in The History of The Hobbit, Tolkien probably began developing the original story around the middle of 1930. By January 1933 he was able to pass a full-length manuscript to his friend C.S. Lewis. Rateliffís analysis of the various explanations of the development of the story includes some references to oral story-telling mixed in with references to Tolkienís actual writing.
Read the full answer here: Q: Why Did J.R.R. Tolkien Write The Hobbit?
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