First Edition Points and Criteria for The Hobbit

Year Published: 1937
Author Last Name: Tolkien
Author First Name: J.R.R.
Publisher: George Allen & Unwin
Original Price:
Pages: 310

The first edition of this classic J.R.R. Tolkien book was published by George Allen & Unwin in 1937. It was 310 pages long. The first edition identification criteria are as follows: FIRST PUBLISHED IN 1937 is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Board are green with pictorial decoration to spine, front, and back in blue. Map on endpapers. Top edge stained green.

First issue dust jacket has Dodgeson misspelt on bottom of rear flap, and is corrected in ink by hand.

Picture of the 1937 first edition dust jacket for The Hobbit.
Picture of the 1937 first edition dust jacket for The Hobbit.

The true first edition was published in 1937 by George Allen and Unwin.
The true first edition was published in 1937 by George Allen and Unwin.

This is the back of the 1937 first edition dust jacket for The Hobbit.
This is the back of the 1937 first edition dust jacket for The Hobbit.

This is the boards from the 1937 true first edition.
This is the boards from the 1937 true first edition.

This is the title page from the 1937 true first edition.
This is the title page from the 1937 true first edition.

The First American Edition was published in 1938 and had a bowing hobbit on the front
The First American Edition was published in 1938 and had a bowing hobbit on the front boards.

This First American Edition title page originally had an image of a bowing hobbit (left),
This First American Edition title page originally had an image of a bowing hobbit (left), which was later changed to the Houghton Mifflin logo (right).

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Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate.