In creating the artwork for The Hobbit, Tolkien borrowed from a short story he had written for his son Michael, titled "Roverandom."
Also included are conceptual sketches for the now-iconic dust jacket cover painting of the mountains Bilbo Baggins transverses in his adventures.
HarperCollins publisher David Brawn observes The Hobbit's unfair eclipse in The Lord of the Rings' shadow:
People have celebrated Tolkien as a writer for years -- you haven't been able to get away from him since all the books of the century polls. But The Lord of the Rings has always been the focus since it was published in 1954 -- it's a much more grown-up, significant book. It has overshadowed The Hobbit as a more old-fashioned, children's book, which has become known in the context of The Lord of the Rings. The anniversary allows us to move the spotlight back on to the book which started it all.
A rare piece of cross-disciplinary creativity from the mind of one of modern history's greatest creators, Art of the Hobbit is equal parts literary treasure and treat of art, exploring the notion of the author as designer -- a particularly timely concept in the age of self-publishing and disciplinary cross-pollination in the making of books.
Via The Guardian.
This post also appears on Brain Pickings, an Atlantic partner site.