muuranker (muuranker) wrote in returnofthering,

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A Year of Celebrating 'The Hobbit'

21st September 2011 marks the start of twelve months of celebrating the publication of 'The Hobbit'. This is the book which first introduced some of the lands and peoples of Middle-earth, J.R.R. Tolkien's imagined world, and later the setting for the larger work, 'The Lord of the Rings'. From its opening, 'In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit' the story takes Bilbo Baggins, the hobbit in question, on a journey from the Western Lands into 'The Wild'. He goes there in the company of dwarves and a wizard. Their journey includes encounters with trolls, elves, goblins, humans and many others. Most significantly there is the first encounter with Gollum and most perilously that with Smaug, a terrifying dragon. A much-anticipated film version in two parts is currently being filmed by director Peter Jackson in New Zealand.

The first edition of 'The Hobbit' was published on 21st September 1937 and the book has been in print almost continuously ever since. The only time it went out of print (briefly) was when stock was destroyed during the London Blitz. Since its first publication it has sold more than 100 million copies and been translated into at least 50 languages.

The Tolkien Society is an international organisation registered in the UK as an educational charity, and its aim is to encourage and further interest in the life and works of the late Professor Tolkien.

The Society's main event during 2012 will be a major conference called 'The Return of the Ring' at Loughborough University from 16th to 20th August 2012.

The conference will have an academic/literary side, with papers and panels and a dedicated postgraduate symposium; but it will also have a lighter aspect, including talks and panels on creative and popular arts, interactive workshops, family-friendly activities, fan films, a spectacular art show and a dealers' room. Our guests will include Tom Shippey, Verlyn Flieger, John Garth, Dimitra Fimi and Janet Brennan Croft. Tolkien fans from all over the globe are welcome to share and participate in the event.

There will also be entertainments, including a 'ceilidh', banquet, costume masquerade and a variety of performances from talented guests and attendees.

A troupe of medieval re-enactors will be joining us from France to set up a camp that recreates Middle-earth.

Loughborough was chosen for its central location and its excellent transport links, close to M1 motorway, rail links with all parts of the UK, including an Intercity link direct to London and the international East Midlands Airport.

'Return of the Ring' has its own section on the Tolkien Society's website at and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, LiveJournal and Google+.
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