It was on this day 75 years ago that a little children's book about a reluctant Hobbit and his magical adventure first appeared. Today, more than 100 million copies later, The Hobbit is a touchstone of fantasy literature, the acclaimed and beloved beginning of a literary empire that later spawned what many consider the greatest fantasy saga ever written: The Lord of the Rings.
In the world of genre fiction, J. R. R. Tolkien is a superstar, a godfather, a legend among legends, and as a result his life and work have been studied and studied again for decades. But there's always something new to learn.
In that spirit, we're celebrating 75 years of The Hobbit by sharing 17 facts about Tolkien and his work that you might not have known.