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This and That  by Lindelea 3 Review(s)
eilujReviewed Chapter: 34 on 1/2/2013
Ah -- I am just returning from seeing the film (not for the first time), and here is Bilbo to greet me!

In "An Unexpected Party," we're told that Bilbo was "about fifty years old or so," which he would have been in the spring of 1341.

Later in that chapter, Gandalf says, "And Thrain your father went away on the twenty-first of April, a hundred years ago last Thursday." [In the 1937 edition, it was the third of March, but in subsequent editions it was changed to the twenty-first of April.]

According to The Annotated Hobbit ("The Unexpected Party," note 50), that date "provides one of the few firm dates within The Hobbit for the chronology of the story. From what Bilbo should have put down in his Engagement Tablet, Gandalf and the dwarves came to tea on a Wednesday.... [This is rather confusing; it's mentioned in the text that Bilbo did make such a note.] Thus, if the previous Thursday was April 21, Wednesday would be April 27. (However, in "The Quest of Erebor," which was originally written to be part of an appendix to The Lord of the Rings and which tells Gandalf's account of how he came to arrange Bilbo's journey, the date of Thorin and his companions arriving at Bag End is given precisely as Wednesday, April 26, with Gandalf's visit of the previous day specified to be Tuesday, April 25. These dates cannot be reconciled with the text as given in The Hobbit....

[My notes say, "The 26th should be a Wednesday, according to the calendar in Appendix D. Perhaps The Hobbit was written before JRRT added Yule?]

"The other two exact dates given in The Hobbit occur near the end of the book. On page 355, when Bilbo reaches Rivendell again on his journey home, it is May 1 of the following year. And on page 360, Bilbo arrives home in the middle of an auction on June 22."

And in "A Short Rest" we're told that Elrond read the map runes on Midsummer's eve, and the group left Rivendell the following day. They had been in Rivendell for some days, but the exact number is not given.

Author Reply: Oh, my! I didn't answer this (until now)?

Belated thanks for these fascinating notes! I admit, I haven't paid a lot of attention to The Hobbit, but I'm hoping to re-read it this summer, after years of neglect.

DreamflowerReviewed Chapter: 34 on 1/2/2013
Oh my dear! Thank you for such a sweet and lovely image! What a nice surprise to find this morning!


Author Reply: You're welcome. I've been taking something of an Internet fast the past three months, very little time online (and you wouldn't believe how far behind I am in my email reading), but when we saw The Hobbit movie I kept thinking of your delight with Bilbo, and snuck on for a bit yesterday to post this.


(Was it really April that they departed? All of our Hobbit copies are missing, probably under various peoples' beds or some such, and I found "April" mentioned somewhere online as the time of their departure. ...and does that mean they returned in April as well? I'm thinking Bilbo was gone almost exactly a year, but since I'm depending on a sometimes unreliable memory, I'm not confident in the knowledge.)

LarnerReviewed Chapter: 34 on 1/2/2013
He did have some problems with pocket handkerchiefs in thos days! Heh!

Author Reply: He certainly did! And after his mother kept reminding him, too, all those growing-up years. "Do you have a clean pocket-handkerchief?"

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