“I’ll read the passage from the first edition which Tolkien later changed, for the chapter ‘Riddles in the Dark.’ But in this one Gollum is prepared to give up the ring, and shows Bilbo out as a kind of forfeit for not having got it any more. It’s about 3 pages from Gollum’s last guess, “String, or nothing” to the point where they part company. Not many readers will ever have seen it, of course.” Said world famous Tolkien scholar, Dr. Tom Shippey, when asked about which reading he would do for Middle-earth Network’s ‘Hobbit Day 2012’.
Humorous, brilliant, friendly, and gracious are just a few of the words that come to mind when you’re dealing with Dr. Shippey. John DiBartolo and myself were able to video record Dr. Shippey’s reading this morning via Skype from his home in Dorchester, England. After the first take failed with our video software he graciously allowed us to do another, successful take.
Fans are in for a historic treat as Dr. Shippey reads from this first edition of ‘The Hobbit’. Not only for the reading but he remains as one of the few academic people who knew Tolkien, and whose life mirrored Tolkien in many ways.
Thanks to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for giving us permission to record these readings for posterity.
On September 22nd, this Saturday you can tune in to our virtual Hobbit Day 2012 on-line festival to hear Dr. Shippey’s reading as well as a host of other celebrities, and fans who will be reading from their favorite passages. Several exciting events are scheduled to take place that day you won’t want to miss!