J.R.R. Tolkien (1892 - 1973)

Herr Gl├╝ck

(Mr. Bliss)

Transl. into German by Anja Hagemann
Stugart: Klett-Cotta, 1983

100 p., ink and col. pencil, handwritten text
15,4 x 21,5 cm, pictorial cardboard covers, col. dust jacket
Facsimile pages of the English original face the German type-set translation. Format true to the original landscape format.


OE, posthumous: Mr. Bliss, 1982


NE: Mr. Bliss, London: Harper Collins, 2011 (combines a new portrait-format layout with the reproduction of the original landscape format)
London: Allan & Unwin, 1976


The new edition from 1999 (German ed. 2005, Klett-Cotta) contains many letters as facsimile as well as additional material

The book and its history

The book, planned to provide Hobbit-fans with more Tolkien could not be published during his lifetime. According to Special Collections of Marquette University in Milwaukee, USA, which houses some of Tolkien's manuscripts, it was written between 1928 and 1932. 
Tolkien tells an absurdly adventurous story of Mr. Bliss wearing whimsical tall hats and of his first ride in his new car. Of course, this ride does not go smoothly; three bears want to ride along as well as Mrs. Knight and Mr. Binks and the four Dorkinses. The car breaks down and when Mr. Bliss finally arrives home, his companion, the Girabbit, a rabbit with a long giraffe neck and head, has taken up residence in the house. In the end, a wedding is celebrated and everything turns out just fine.
The pen and colored pencil drawings accompany the text, which is handwritten with calligraphic flourish and varies the layout from page to page in surprising new ways. The drawn scenes closely follow the narrated ones, and yet they feature accents of their own.

Biographical note

J.R.R. Tolkien (John Ronald Reuel Tolkien), born in 1892 in Bloemfontein, South Africa, died in 1973 in Bournemouth, Great Britain, is considered the best-known representative and "forefather" of modern fantasy literature.
Tolkien came to England in 1895. He began drawing intensively as a boy, but never received any formal artistic training. He studied classical and English philology at Oxford. From 1920 he taught in Leeds, and from 1925 to 1959 in Oxford. In addition to his scholarly activities, he wrote literary texts and illustrated them himself. His best-known books are "The Hobbit or There and Back Again," 1937, and "The Lord of the Rings," 1954/55, each translated into more than 40 languages. Both books are based on his continuing studies of ancient languages and sources, which led him to develop his own mythological cosmos. Written as a children's book, "The Hobbit" features Tolkien's own drawings, as do his other texts written for children.

Literature/Links

Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull: J.R.R.Tolkien Companion and Guide, 3 vols. London: Harper Collins, rev. ed., 2017 
 
Wayne G. Hammond, Christina Scull: The Art of the Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkien,
London: Harper Collins, 2011

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