[an error occurred while processing this directive]


Selections from The Annotated Hobbit

Previous Next
Bilbo and the Dwarves cross the stone bridge with their ponies.

Bilbo and the Dwarves cross the stone bridge with their ponies. Illustration by Tove Jansson for the 1962 Swedish and 1973 Finnish editions. Tove Jansson (1914-2001) was a native of Finland, born to a Swedish-speaking family. Out of all of the foreign illustrators of The Hobbit, Jansson is without question the most well known and acclaimed, both as an artist and as a writer. Her illustrated children's stories about the Moomins, a family of eccentric trolls who resemble hippopotamuses, came out between 1945 and 1970 and have been translated worldwide. She also illustrated translations of Lewis Carroll's The Hunting of the Snark (1959) and Alice in Wonderland (1966). An English edition of the latter with Jansson's illustrations was published in 1977. She also published fiction for adults.

On illustrating Tolkien, Jansson wrote to Mikael Ahlström of the Fin-nish Tolkien Society in 1992 that "for me, illustrating The Hobbit was an adventure," and one wishes that she would have elaborated further. The Moominvalley Museum in Tampere, Finland, is devoted to Jansson's fictional characters, but it also holds her original artwork for The Hobbit.


From The Annotated Hobbit by Douglas A. Anderson, published by Houghton Mifflin Company 2002. Introduction and annotations © 2002 by Douglas A. Anderson, All rights reserved.



Previous | Next
Text Excerpt



[an error occurred while processing this directive]