The Friday Face-Off: Here be Dragons

Friday Face-Off #1

The Friday Face-Off is a new weekly meme created by Books by Proxy. Like most bookworms I love a beautiful cover and this meme is an excuse to ogle some great covers from round the world. To join in simply pick two covers for a book which suits the weekly theme. This weeks theme is: Here be Dragons (a cover which features dragons) for which I have chosen The Hobbit by J R R Tolkien.

3rd Paperback Edition 1979: Unwin Paperbacks

Friday Face-Off #2

This is a battered and well-loved 1979 Unwin copy of The Hobbit, illustrated with ‘Conversation with Smaug’ by J R R Tolkien, which my father has owned since he was a child. It has, probably not the most attractive, brown background but I do love the detailed illustration of Smaug and his large, intricate pile of treasure. Most of the appeal of this copy though is the fond memories I have of my father reading this to me, a chapter a night, when I was about 5 or 6 years old.

60th Anniversary Edition 1997: HarperCollins Publishers

Friday Face-Off #3

This beautiful, hardback edition of The Hobbit illustrated by Alan Lee was a gift from my mother. This cover also has a detailed image of Smaug on his large pile of treasure. The treasure is less detailed than the 1979 cover however Smaug is still detailed and more realistic. I particularly love the use of gold leaf detail on the title, treasure and the rune banners at the top and bottom. Plus the detailed and colourful illustrations continue through the whole book. This beautiful edition would be wonderful to share with a child or for an adult (who is young at heart) to enjoy alone.

And the winner is…

Friday Face-Off #3

While the 1979 Unwin copy will always have a place in my heart and home, who can resist all that glittering gold goodness of my Anniversary Edition?!

Do you agree with my choice? What edition of The Hobbit do you have?


16 thoughts on “The Friday Face-Off: Here be Dragons

    1. DJ, I am pleased to hear you like both covers – there is definitely something to like about both…however you’ve just got to love that gold trim haven’t you? Just like Smaug we like the shiny things 😀

  1. These are the two I grew up with more or less (our Unwin was full-cover illustration, no framing that I recall, so you could see Bilbo as well as Smaug). Both have a special place in my heart – I’m not sure I can choose between them! (although the Anniversary edition is *gorgeous*)

    1. Hello Imyril, thank you for stopping by and commenting – it is always lovely to hear from a new face 🙂 How wonderful you grew up with and love these two covers too!

  2. I read the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy when the movies started coming out and loved them all. But I have tried The Hobbit twice and could not get into it. Maybe someday I will try again.

    1. Judy, how unusual – most people would find The Hobbit, being a children’s book, easier to get into. I hope you are able to read it one day as it my favourite book!

  3. Having watched all 3 Hobbit films, I was surprised to discover they’re based on one book and a shortist book at that. However, I really should pick up the book and give it a read… Not sure which edition to get though!

    1. Nikki, I highly recommend reading the book 😀 While I enjoyed the 3 Hobbit films they really stretched the story, and packed the films out with added story lines and characters from other books by Tolkien as well.

  4. I like both covers but, like you, I have a special fondness for the earlier version and so that takes the crown for me this week. I nearly choose the Hobbit this week – but decided to save it for another occasion!
    Lynn 😀

  5. I love both these covers. (Despite the brown background) I love that illustration of Smaug on the 1979 edition. It’s so charming and is definitely something I would have loved as a child.

    I also own the anniversary edition! I absolutely love the artwork throughout and the cover is lovely. If I had to choose I’d probably say this one is my favourite but both have gorgeous covers and both spark my imagination!

    1. Proxy, the 1979 edition’s illustration of Smaug is wonderful isn’t it? I loved it as a child because it is so detailed; every time you look at it you spot something else 🙂

      Yay, for you agreeing and having the anniversary edition too! The artwork through out is lovely. I have to agree though both covers do spark the imagination 😀

  6. I prefer the anniversary edition, but it’s good that the other cover brings back special memories for you. I haven’t read The Hobbit for years but I loved it as a child. 🙂

    1. Helen, the anniversary edition is gorgeous isn’t it? But you’re right special memories are also very important when it comes to books. I highly recommend a re-read 😀

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