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Exploring The Hobbit

by Signum University

This course material is only available in the iTunes U app on iPhone or iPad.

Course Description

In 1937, J.R.R. Tolkien published The Hobbit, his first major work to see print. Many of you probably read this book as a child, or even listened while a parent read it to you, as Tolkien read it to his own children. As you walk through this little book along with The Tolkien Professor, you may be amazed at how complex and sophisticated it really is.

“It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out of your door…. You step into the Road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there is no knowing where you might be swept off to. Do you realize that this is the very path that goes through Mirkwood, and that if you let it, it might take you to the Lonely Mountain or even further and to worse places?” — Bilbo Baggins

It is strongly encouraged that you read each section of the book before listening to the lecture, as you will find them much richer and easier to follow in that way.

If you are in need of a good edition of The Hobbit, or if you would like to use the same edition that The Tolkien Professor uses, you can find it through his Literature Page.

The course image is courtesy Flickr user cafuego under a Creative Commons license.

Customer Reviews

Really Good!

A well organized, smart and insightful review of a great book. After reading the Hobbit so many times, this series has made me want to read it yet again, but with a new sense of appreciation.


I have read the Hobbit many times, and am looking forward to reading it again with a new appreciation. Professor Olsen's perspective on the story is a lot of fun, and he points out things I hadn't noticed and some things I had. I strongly suggest that you listen to this after reading the story, but just before reading it again.


Great Course

This is a really good course that walks through the Hobbit and discusses many of the central themes of the story.

Exploring The Hobbit
View in iTunes

Customer Ratings