Talk:English-language editions of The Hobbit

Latest comment: 2 years ago by Chiswick Chap in topic Missing entry?

Non-wiki formatting edit

The list here should use wiki formatting, like this. The reason to keep the irregular formatting is "lettered variants, and you’ve mixed references with lists". I see no advantage to lettering variants over bulleting variants, and I have no idea what the mixing references with lists means. The wikiformatting has the advantage of being wikified, and working with tools such as AWB, and the reversions keep losing the fixes (such as "et al") that have been applied. -- JHunterJ (talk) 13:57, 21 March 2011 (UTC)Reply

Using letters to denote variants in standard bibliographic practice, whether referring to books, stamps, maps, or automobile production runs. Warping standard practices in order to accommodate tools seems much like the tail wagging the dog.
This is what I mean by mixing references with lists:
# HM1951 — Houghton Mifflin Co. of Boston and New York, 1951. Identical sheets, illustrations, and binding as AU1951. Only the spines of the book and dust jacket have changed to name the publisher.
#*See Early American editions of The Hobbit.


# HM1973 — Houghton Mifflin Company of Boston, 1973. Forest green simulated leather boards with red and gold gilt runic inscription around the periphery in front and a stylized road-going-into-forest-in-front-of-mountains illustration in gold gilt a little above center. Matching slipcase in simulated leather with the same cover illustration on a paste-down in green, black, and yellow. Printed on heavy paper. All original illustrations from HM1938 restored, including color plates. Black-and-white illustrations printed as black-and-green, maps in black and green, and each page neatline is in green. 18 x 23.5 cm, 317 numbered pages.
#*Book-of-the-Month edition, distinguished by annotation on the copyright page.
In the first case, the secondary list is a reference. In the second case the secondary list is a variant that should be lettered.
I understand the advantages of using formatting that bots like. Unfortunately I don’t see how that goal is compatible with bibliographic practice unless the bots develop a bit more smarts. I am happy to learn if there is a better Wikimedia way to achieve what needs to be achiever here. Strebe (talk) 18:02, 21 March 2011 (UTC)Reply
Not "warping to accommodate tools", but rather "unwarping to follow Wikipedia style", e.g., Wikipedia:Manual of Style (lists of works) and Wikipedia:Manual of Style (layout). Since there is no indication that the secondary list is a reference in the first case, I still don't see the harm in wikifying it as well. -- JHunterJ (talk) 18:43, 21 March 2011 (UTC)Reply
Thank you for addressing the problem of Wikipedia guidelines. I am aware of the guidelines, which do not address this case. You have not addressed the problem of standard bibliographic practices or how to get the variants properly lettered using Wikipedia guidelines.
I do not understand, “There is no indication that the secondary list is a reference.” The text says “See such and such hyperlinked article”. I do not know how to more obviously refer to other material. My point is that your changes have made the first and second examples parallel things when they are no such thing at all. The first example says “go here if you want more information”. The second example is a bibliographic distinction declaring a variant of the primary entry.
Nor do I see how either item qualifies as a Wikipedia “list”. There is such a thing as one bibliographic variant. There isn’t any such thing as a useful list of one item. That would be an example of warping content so that somebody’s tools work. There’s nothing advocating single-item lists in the Wikipedia guidelines.

Strebe (talk) 20:58, 21 March 2011 (UTC)Reply

And I don't understand what you meant with "incoherent" while reverting my wikified version. The article was coherently structured and sorted by the identifiers AU1937, etc. Another suggestion of mine would be using something like this which includes {{ordered list}}:
  1. AU1937 — George Allen & Unwin LTD of London, 1937 Light green cloth binding over boards, imprinted with stylized Misty Mountains scene in deep blue ink along the top, all the way around, and a dragon at the bottom, both front and back. Dust jacket in green, black, dark blue, and white, showing a drawing of stylized mountains with the moon and eagles soaring above, a forest, and a river. End paper maps in red, black, and white. All artwork by Tolkien. 14.0 × 19.6 cm, 310 numbered pages.
    1. Second printing (1937) converted four plates to color.
  2. HM1938 — Houghton Mifflin Co. of Boston & New York, 1938. Tan cloth binding over boards, imprinted with a bowing hobbit in red to the upper right of the title on the front. Dust jacket in blue with the Hobbiton frontispiece in color in front. Title page shows outline of the same bowing hobbit as on the cover. All artwork by Tolkien. No half-title page. Chapter VII mis-labeled as Chapter VI; List of Illustrations mistakenly lists Thror's map to be at the front, where the text declares it to be. 15.1 × 21.0 cm, 310 numbered pages.
    1. Title page bowing hobbit insignia was changed to the publisher's device of a seated flautist in second printing. Date unknown. Half-title page added. List of Illustrations places Thrór's map at rear.
    2. Chapter VII heading corrected from "Chapter VI". Date unknown.
    3. Buckram style "C", and maps on roughly calendered stock. Date unknown.
    4. Buckram style "D", and maps on roughly calendered stock. Date unknown.
    5. Orange library binding, silk screen of original American dust jacket in black outline. Binding may apply to any printing.
  3. etc.
De728631 (talk) 02:44, 17 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I’m not sure how your last edit here on this Talk page ended up dumping article content into the middle of my own edit, but I see now what you intended. I restored your edit but deleted the spurious spew.
Thanks for the tip about the Ordered list template. That appears to be a new template. It works for the purpose. I don’t like how cramped the page content has ended up, but at least it’s down to æsthetics now instead of sacrificing standard practices to Wikipedia’s limitations. Strebe (talk) 21:08, 17 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
As I just wrote on your user talk, I have no idea either how that messed up edit of mine happened. Thank you for fixing that now. And I'm glad to know that you like the general idea of this ordered list template. The page does in fact look a bit condensed now, so I've been pondering using a table for that purpose. It could contain columns for the identifier, a summary, and the a., b., c. variants. That way we'd have a structured presentation that follows the style guidelines and might even look better than a large bunch of densely listed text. I'd be willing to code such a table. De728631 (talk) 22:15, 17 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
A table could work. My primary concern is that most of the entries do not have variants and so it seems like a lot of table real estate would get devoted to empty boxes. Or is there some way of dealing with that? Strebe (talk) 22:35, 17 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
I have no idea how to prevent empty boxes in this case but have a look at my sandbox. I think this is still the best way of presenting the various editions. By the way, what is it with these identifiers like HM1938? Are they in any way officially recognised or is this something that has been made up for local use at Wikipedia? De728631 (talk) 09:23, 19 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

I've made another version of the table where the early American editions link is inside the description cell. This produces much less empty cells and leaves more space for flowing text. If you don't mind I'm going to add this to the article. De728631 (talk) 14:26, 22 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Actually, that looks fine. It’s even usefully viewable on a smartphone. Thanks for the effort! Strebe (talk) 21:20, 24 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Welcome. I'm glad you like it. De728631 (talk) 21:53, 24 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

HC2012 edit

With the upcoming Hobbit films there's also been a promotional change of cover art at some publishers. E.g. I've found a 2012 paperback by HarperCollins with a cover image showing Bilbo/Freeman looking out of the door of his Hobbit hole. Amazon lists 400 pages but I'm not sure how they count this and if it matches our classification. I suspect the edition is essentially the same as HC1999. Any thoughts? De728631 (talk) 14:44, 22 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

A 400 page edition of The Hobbit would be an appreciable change in format. That doesn’t seem right, but of course they might have added all sorts of material related to the movies. By the criteria listed in the article, the change in cover art alone would qualify as a separate “edition”. Strebe (talk) 21:22, 24 November 2012 (UTC)Reply
Ok, I'm going to research this a bit and may eventually update the list. De728631 (talk) 21:54, 24 November 2012 (UTC)Reply

Outsider to Wikipedia poking his nose in edit

Ok, I'm not the one to fix it (inexperience in editing and not enough information), but trying to use this article I have just enough information of my own to get the feeling that it's a mess. Here are some things that I noticed:

Ballantine Books Published a "Revised Edition" in February 1966. This may be the variant listed to the 1965 edition, but it meets the criterium of the Publisher declaring it a new edition. (Source- Title verso of BB1973)

The title verso of my Harper Collins 2007 copy says (among other things):

First published by HarperCollinspublishers 1991- presumably a continuation of previous, but under the new name (can't prove)

5th Edition (reset) 1995- Which is therefore missing from this list

This edition is based on the reset edition first published in 1995

Some of my observations after research:

HM2007 mentions HarperCollins- which is it? (to answer that question, the ISBN listed is HM)

The HarperCollins 2007 edition, while most definitely a new edition (the publishers declare it as such), uses the same ISBN as the 1995 edition.

And finally- a column for ISBN wouldn't go amiss; I know it's not applicable to the early editions, but for the latter ones it would be very useful. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:54, 29 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

Definitely fix these problems, please! That’s how Wikipedia works. I didn’t understand the comment about the Ballantine edition. The back cover of the 1973 edition calls the February 1966 printing a new edition? I would not assume that the older entries are nearly the mess that the newer ones are, by the way. Strebe (talk) 06:32, 29 January 2013 (UTC)Reply

Is this an “edition” or a “variant”? edit

I have a 2012 Houghton-Mifflin Harcourt 75th anniversary paperback edition, ISBN 978-0-547-92822-7, with the domain name “” printed on the back cover. This website contains a picture of the cover art. Not sure if this is an edition that merits the creation of an “identifier,” or is a “variant” of one of the existing “described” editions? Bwrs (talk) 19:31, 21 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Hmm, this should actually be a new edition with the front cover being based on the original 1937 drawing by Tolkien. This red, gold and black version seems to be quite new though. At least it's not listed here. Also the ISBN seems to be new, so I'm going to add this as a new edition. De728631 (talk) 20:11, 21 February 2013 (UTC)Reply
I was wondering whether the illustration of “The Hall at Bag-End, Residence of B. Baggins Esquire” counts as the last page of the story, or as an end-paper (for the purpose of determining the total number of pages)? Also, what about the maps (the map of Wilderland appearing after the first chapter of The Lord of the Rings)? Bwrs (talk) 04:15, 2 March 2013 (UTC)Reply
As noted in the article, you go by the last page that has a page number on it. Strebe (talk) 05:20, 2 March 2013 (UTC)Reply

list or encyclopædia article? edit

I copied the text of the section on “publication” from the main article on The Hobbit to this article. But then I did not like the appearance of the result, so I self-reverted. If anybody else believes the text does belong in this article, then please feel free to re-do the copy-paste job, keeping the above template on this talk page for attribution purposes. Bwrs (talk) 06:14, 28 February 2013 (UTC)Reply

Circular references in "English-language editions of The Hobbit" section edit

This web source [1] in turn cites Wikipedia and nothing else. This is a ciruclar reference and as such cannot be reliable. I removed the circular citation leaving a lot of information (including the detailed tables) unreferenced. If another source is not found, much of the information in this section needs to be removed. BenKuykendall (talk) 19:14, 18 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

I am the author of the TolkienBooks article. It is almost entirely based on information from the publisher's correspondence archive, supplemented by Hammond's Tolkien bibliography and The Tolkien Collector magazine. The link to the Wikipedia article is only there for further information. I have amended my article to clarify. Deagol2 (talk) 20:44, 18 June 2020 (UTC)Reply
@Deagol2: I am glad that the information can be traced back to the three sources you list. However, citing directly is still a problem (especially if you are the author). Although it appears to be an accurate and well-researched website, it is a self-published source from the point of view of reliability. Instead of citing your website, this article should directly attribute the original sources. BenKuykendall (talk) 19:51, 29 June 2020 (UTC)Reply
I have tidied up the references to point to the ultimate sources. Deagol2 (talk) 20:52, 29 June 2020 (UTC)Reply

Missing entry? edit

There seems to be no listing for the 1997 H-M 70th Anniversary hardcover, ill. by Alan Lee (Smaug on jacket). Solicitr (talk) 15:49, 12 November 2021 (UTC)Reply

Feel free ... Chiswick Chap (talk) 16:26, 12 November 2021 (UTC)Reply