In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit.

Driving home this morning, listening to NPR on WAMU, The Writer’s Almanac pointed out that on this day in 1937, JRR Tolkien first published “The Hobbit”, and the title of this post were the first words written on the story in 1928.

What a marvelous, marvelous creation. source

Literary and Historical Notes:

It was on this day in 1937 that J.R.R. Tolkien published his first novel, The Hobbit. He was a professor at Oxford, and in the summer of 1928, he was in the middle of grading a stack of student papers when he wrote the sentence, “In a hole in the ground lived a hobbit.” He had no idea where the word “hobbit” came from. It had just popped into his head. He later wrote: “[Hobbits] are (or were) a little people … inclined to be fat in the stomach; they dress in bright colours (chiefly green and yellow); wear no shoes, because their feet grow naturally leathery soles and thick warm brown hair like the stuff on their heads (which is curly); have long clever brown fingers, good-natured faces, and laugh deep fruity laughs (especially after dinner, which they have twice a day when they can get it).”

Thank you, Mr Tolkien, may you look down and smile. Thank you, NPR, for the reminder 🙂