What’s that? Tolkien has come up with some new illustrations for The Hobbit?

Well, not exactly. The Guardian reports:

A swath of JRR Tolkien’s original illustrations for The Hobbit are to be published for the first time this week as part of celebrations to mark the 75th anniversary of the book’s publication.

The published version of The Hobbit includes around 20 illustrations by its author, as well as the well-known dust jacket painting of the mountains which Bilbo Baggins passes through on his adventures. But when HarperCollins began preparing for the book’s 75th anniversary next year, the publisher discovered Tolkien had actually created more than 100 illustrations, which lay buried in his archive at the Bodleian Library in Oxford and were only recently digitised.

“That was a surprise. I thought there might be 40-50 in total,” said publisher David Brawn. “But there are 110 Hobbit pictures, about two dozen of which haven’t been published before.”

I’m so excited about this. I had the privilege of visiting Oxford in 1991 just as some of Tolkien’s original artwork was on exhibit for the first time, and I got to see the actual paintings and sketches that I first loved as a seven-year-old when I started reading The Hobbit for the first time. I’ll never forget it. I lingered at that exhibition as long as I could, hoping to absorb some of the magic. I can’t wait to see this treasury.