The Hobbit first edition fetches £137,000 at auction

image copyrightSotheby's
image captionThe book was a gift from JRR Tolkien to one of his first students

A first edition of JRR Tolkien's 1937 novel The Hobbit, with an inscription in Elvish written by the author, had sold at auction in London for £137,000.

The sale smashes the previous record for a sale of The Hobbit, set in 2008 when a first edition sold for £60,000.

Tolkien gave the book to Katherine "Kitty" Kilbride, one of his students at Leeds University in the 1920s.

The Elvish verse is an extract from Tolkien's The Lost Road, part of his 12-volume History of Middle-earth.

image copyrightSotheby's
image captionThe four-line inscription follows a personal dedication from the author

The Hobbit introduced the character of Bilbo Baggins and the "one ring" that would feature again in his Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Sotheby's had expected the first edition to fetch up to £70,000 at Thursday's auction of children's books and illustrated works.

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