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
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
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…
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?