Children’s Treasury of Literature

  Filed under : TOLKIEN Miscellanea > General Fantasy / Literature

The Children's Treasury of Literature In ColourThis collection of children’s stories includes the first chapter of The Hobbit - ‘An Unexpected Party’ illustrated by Robert J. Lee.

Tolkien himself famously described these illustrations as “vulgar, stupid and entirely out of keeping with the text”.

Very much a product of the times, the illustrations are indeed playful and a bit psychedelic. But personally I rather like Robert J. Lee’s pictures - and the fact that they have Dwalin the dwarf with an actual blue beard.

Title: The Children’s Treasury of Literature In Colour
Editors: Bryna and Louis Untermeyer
Published by: Paul Hamlyn Ltd
Year of Publication : 1967
Edition: 1st edition 1966 This impression 1967
Hardback with dustjacket

The Children's Treasury of Literature In Colour

There’s some more information about this book over at Tolkien Gateway

See also Tolkien and the Illustrations of Robert J. Lee by Morgan Thomsen

And Douglas A Anderson has even more detail over on his blog at Tolkien and Fantasy

And in the meantime, here’s a few of the actual illustrations so you can see what the fuss was about.

The Children's Treasury of Literature In Colour

The Children's Treasury of Literature In Colour

The Children's Treasury of Literature In Colour


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2 Responses to “Children’s Treasury of Literature”

  1. Thanks for the mention of my blog post!

  2. Matt Graham says:

    As a child the “Children’s Treasury of Literature” represented my first exposure to not only fantasy literature, but also to Tolkien’s masterpiece. It’s sad to hear that Tolkien didn’t approve of these illustrations, because they really sparked my imagination as a toddler. When I became a teenager I picked up a non-illustrated version of the hobbit at my school library (not realizing that it was the same story I loved as a toddler), and when I began to read it, all of the Lee illustrations flooded my memory almost immediately, and it was as if a long-lost and forgotten friend had returned.

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