A recently unearthed audio recording from the "Hobbit Dinner", which took place in Rotterdam in 1958, finds Tolkien reading excerpts from The Hobbit as Bilbo, reading a poem in Elvish, and celebrating the love his fans have for Tolkien's tales of Middle Earth. And if that isn't enough to make Tolkien fans go squee he also set the records straight on the true meaning of The Lord Of The Rings.
Here's how this amazing audio recording came to see the light of day:
This reel-to-reel tape was discovered in 1993 by a Dutchman named René van Rossenberg, a Tolkien expert who owns a shop in the Netherlands devoted to all things Middle-earth (TolkienShop.com). Why didn't van Rossenberg show it to anybody until now?
"Like Smaug I am guarding my treasure, hissing at any collector who comes near," he recently stated in response to my email query. Fortunately, a Middle-earth maven named Jay Johnstone, one of the founders of the fantasy/sci-fi site Legendarium.me, sleuthed that van Rossenberg had the recording in his possession, and persuaded him to open his dragon hoard.