LONDON: A first edition of “The Hobbit” accompanied by a handwritten note in Elvish by British author J.R.R. Tolkien was sold by Sotheby´s at auction on Thursday for £137,000 (187,000 euros, $211,000).
The book was a gift from the author and is dedicated to Miss Katherine (“Kitty”) Kilbride, one of his first students at Leeds University in the 1920s.
The lines in Elvish — a language invented by Tolkien — are extracts from a verse in “The Lost Road”, a time-travel tale that Tolkien never completed.
The book dates from 1937 and the price it fetched beat the previous auction record for “The Hobbit” of £50,000 in 2008, Sotheby´s said in a statement.
Kilbride was an invalid and Tolkien sent her letters and cards throughout his life, as well as supplying her with copies of his books as they were written.
Kilbride´s thank you letter for the volume sold on Thursday is in Oxford´s Bodleian Library and notes “what fun you must have had drawing out the maps”.
The popular book, which introduced characters such as Bilbo Baggins who would re-appear in the “Lord of the Rings” epic, was turned into a hugely successful fantasy film series by director Peter Jackson.
“The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies”, released at the end of last year, was the last of six films adapted from Tolkien´s books.