As a collector and bookseller, I’ve seen many versions and editions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved novel The Hobbit over the years. However, it wasn’t until recently that I was aware of Swedish and Finnish language editions that were illustrated by the anti-Fascist cartoonist and writer Tove Jansson. Although the creator of the beloved Moomins had great success with most of her projects, both of her illustrated versions of The Hobbit were critical failures.
Jansson was first commissioned to create a series of illustrations in 1960, but didn’t complete the black and white drawings until 1962. Most Tolkien fans found her interpretation of his characters and storylines to be wanting. Here’s a sample from the books, what do you think ?