The 1960 Hobbit

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The Hobbit, 1960 Revision, New Chapter I – A Well-Planned Party*

“It had a round door like a porthole, painted green, with a yellow brass knob in the exact middle. The door opened into a long hall, shaped like a tunnel, airy, but dark when the lamps were not lit. its floor was tiled and carpeted, there were polished chairs against the walls, and rows of pegs for hats and coats – the hobbit was fond of visitors.” (*768). ARCHITECTURE; LIGHTING; GARMENTS; SHIRE; HOBBITS; 3A

“We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing things! Make you late for dinner! I can’t think why anybody has them’. With that Mr. Baggins stuck a thumb behind his braces, and blew out another even bigger smoke-ring.” (*770). GARMENTS; SHIRE; HOBBITS; 3A

“Then they hung up two yellow hoods and a pale green one; and also a sky-blue hood with a long liripipe ending in a silver tassel. This belonged to Thorin…” (*774). In this revision, Thorin’s hood is explicitly described as possessing a liripipe. It is fortunate that this did not make it to the published page, as it would have only strengthened the public’s misconception that Middle-earth takes place in some sort of quasi-medieval setting.

“…they found a wealth of gold and many gems. They grew rich and famous, and Thror became King under the Mountain, and was treated with great reverence by the Men who lived further south, and were spreading up the Running River. In those days they built the merry town of Dale in the valley overshadowed by the Mountain. Their lords used to send for our smiths, and reward even the least skilful most richly. Fathers would beg us to take their sons as apprentices, and paid us handsomely. It was always for food and wine that we asked, so that we had no need to grow it or get it for ourselves. The land was fat and fruitful in those days [>then]. Those were good years for us, and the least of us had gold to spend and to lend, and leisure to make beautiful things for our delight. The young dwarves made marvelous and cunning toys, the like of which are not to be found in the world today. So the halls of Thror were filled with armour and harps and drinking-horns and cups and things carven and hammered and inlaid, and with jewels like stars; and the toy-market of Dale was one of the wonders of the North.” (*778). CULTURAL; ECON; RHOVANION; EREBOR; DALE; DWARVES; MEN; 3A

“…and anyway we are not looking for a warrior in the Shire: their little swords are blunt; their axes are used for trees, and their bows for small deer.” (*777). WEAPONS; ARTIFACTS; FAUNA; ERIADOR; SHIRE; HOBBITS; 3A Rateliff believes this refers “not to hobbit-sized deer” but is a term for ‘small game’.

The Hobbit, 1960 Revision, New Chapter II – The Broken Bridge.**

“…each pony was slung about with bundles and blankets and saddlebags. Four were without riders: two laden with foodbags and gear for cooking and camping; one more for Balin; and last a very small pony (with no baggage), evidently for Bilbo. The whole expedition had clearly been prepared long before.” (**790). TRAVEL; SHIRE; DWARVES; HOBBITS; 3A

“They were still in the Shire, of course, and went at a leisurely pace, spending the nights in good inns; not until the Saturday afternoon did they cross the great bridge over the Brandywine River and enter what Bilbo called the Outlands, where outlandish things might be expected at any turn. At last he felt that his Adventure had begun. But beyond the Bridge the road was still good, and there were wide lands looking wholesome enough. They met or came up with a number of folk on lawful business: dwarves for the most part going east or west with packs on their backs. Some belonged to Thorin’s people of the western mountains, and they saluted him with a low bow; some were of poorer sort, pedlars(sic) of iron-ware, tinkers, or road-menders. There were a few Men, farmers mostly, ambling along on large fat horses; and several hobbits on foot. They stared at Thorin’s company, but gave them no more than a grin and a nod.” (**791-792). TRAVEL; ECON; ARTIFACTS; CULTURAL; SHIRE; BREE-LAND; MEN; HOBBITS; DWARVES; 3A This passage is an excellent description of foot-traffic between the Brandywine Bridge and Bree in Spring, TA 2941. It might be assumed that traffic would be even busier after the reestablishment of Erebor? Interesting to note that the Road is “still good” east of the Brandywine here, yet by 3018 just west of Bree it is rutted and potholed.

The Hobbit, 1960 Revision, Itinerary: 1. April 28.

“Spend night at the All-welcome Inn, at junction of the Northway and East Road (on Hobbiton side of Frogmorton). So-called because much used by travelers through the Shire, especially by dwarves on the way to Thorin’s home in exile, which was in the west-side of the Blue mountains (southern part, in Harlindon). None of this is mentioned in text. … It has to be remembered that the East Road though it ran through the Shire was not the property of the hobbits: it was an ancient ‘royal road’, and they maintained the traditional duty of keeping it in repair and providing hospitality for travelers. This was of course profitable. It also provided their chief source of ‘outside news’. Dwarves were therefore not a rare sight on the East Road or in its inns (It would also appear that they were sometimes employed as roadmenders and bridge-repairers), but they seldom turned off it, and their appearance in a company in Bywater and Hobbiton must have caused a lot of talk. They cared very little about hobbits, and had little to do with them, except as a source of food in exchange for metal, or sometimes forged articles (knives, ploughshares, arrowheads, axe-heads and the like). The poorer sort (or Thorin’s folk in their earlier time of poverty) might accept employment, as masons and roadmakers for example. But they had the notion that hobbits were a slow stupid folk, with few artifacts, and simpleminded – because the hobbits were generous, never haggled, and gave what was asked.” (**815-816). TRAVEL; ECON; ARTIFACTS; CULTURAL; SHIRE; DWARVES; HOBBITS; 3A

“In a day or two they came to Bree on the Hill. There they spent their last comfortable night for many a day to come, in the great inn of Bree, the Prancing Pony, well-known to the hobbits of the east side of the Shire. Bree was as far as Bilbo’s knowledge reached, even by hearsay. Beyond it the lands had been desolate for many long years. When in a day’s journey more they came to the Last Inn, they found it deserted. They camped in its ruins, and next day they passed into a barren country with great marshes on their left as far as the eye could see. They went very slowly now, sparing their laden ponies and often trudging on foot, for the road became very bad, rutted and pitted, and in places almost lost in soft bog.” (**792). TRAVEL; CULTURAL; ECON; BREE-LAND; 3A East of Bree the road gets progressively worse until Elrond’s jurisdiction further east?

The Hobbit, 1960 Revision, Itinerary: 5. May 2.

“They reach Bree (another 20 miles). There they stay the night, and also purchase a good many supplies (including pipe-weed).” (**816). ECON; TRAVEL; BREE-LAND; 3A

“…Bilbo…looked down and he thought he could see a grey stone bridge with a single arch* over the river.” (**793). *This contradicts (and should be superseded by) the published description of the Last Bridge over the Hoarwell in FotR: “At once they went on again. They crossed the Bridge in safety, hearing no sound but the water swirling against its three great arches.”. “In the confusion that followed Fili and Kili were nearly drowned, and the pony was only saved at the cost of most of its baggage. Of course this proved to be the best part of all their food-supplies: away it went towards the rapids and donk donk was the last they heard of their best cooking-pot as it was rolled among the boulders.” (**794). ARTIFACTS; TRAVEL; DWARVES; 3A If they lost their best cookpot, does this imply they had more than one?

“The road was now much better; it was indeed a road, not a track, and seemed to be kept in some order.” (**795). TRAVEL; RIVENDELL; DWARVES; 3A Elrond’s work – though the work was likely not done by elves – hired dwarves?

“…plunder, of all sorts from buttons and rusty (iron) brooches to pots of gold coins standing in a corner. There were lots of clothes, too, hanging on the walls – all that was left of many poor wood-men and shepherds who had still lived here and there in the wild lands near-by.” (**799). ECON; LIVESTOCK; TROLLSHAWS; MEN; 3A It would be interesting to know if this population increased following the Quest of Erebor – which removed three predatory trolls from the area and increased east-west trade in its wake. Would these people have been familiar with (or related to?) the Dunedain (who it is believed live in the Angle)?

“…[Beorn] would lade them with food (nuts, flour in bags; twice-baked cakes of flour and honey; sealed jars of cream; dried fruits, and pots of honey) to last them with care for weeks, yet easy enough to carry… for the time is not come for nuts which is all there is growing there that can be eaten;…” (HH 241). FOOD; MATERIALS; RHOVANION; MIRKWOOD; BEORNINGS; MEN; 3A

“I will give you four bows and arrows, but I doubt if you will shoot anything in the dim shadows of that place…” (HH 241-242). *“the idea of the dwarves having only four bows resurfaced later, a good example of the phenomenon Christopher Tolkien points out (BLT I.9) where details which disappear versions of one of Tolkien’s stories are not necessarily rejected but sometimes merely omitted through compression.” (HH 242).