… or “There and Back Again”. A story for children by J R R Tolkien, purporting to be a memoir by Bilbo Baggins recounting his part in the Quest of Erebor.

Bilbo joined Thorin and Company at the behest of Gandalf, a wizard. Together they journeyed east to the Lonely Mountain to reclaim Thorin’s heritage from the dragon, Smaug.

They had many adventures on the way, and in one, Bilbo found a plain gold ring, in a goblin tunnel. Escaping from the creature Gollum he discovered that the ring made him invisible and he made use of it several times in the story.

After a final dramatic battle, Bilbo returned home unaware (as was the author) that he was in possession of the One Ring. Its perilous nature was to be revealed in Tolkien’s great sequel The Lord of the Rings a fantasy novel for older readers.

The Hobbit was written privately for Tolkien’s children, but found its way into print in 1937 and was a great success. It has hardly been out of print since.
Encyclopedia entry originally written by cirdaneth