The J R Tolkien classic The Hobbit is being translated into the Irish language.
Evertype Publishers from Westport in Co Mayo have bought the rights to produce an Irish version of the novel, which introduces the character Frodo, who later goes on to destroy the ring in the climax to the trilogy, The Lord of the Rings.
The Irish version is not expected to be a bestseller, but Evertype owner Michael Everson believes it will be sufficiently popular with international book collectors to make it a financial success.
The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings have enjoyed a revival in recent years thanks to the blockbuster films by Peter Jackson.
An Hobad uses original Tolkien illustrations
The translation – entitled An Hobad – contains the original Tolkien illustrations and will retail at €39.95.
Mr Eversen told the Irish Independent: “I’m expecting it to be extremely popular, especially with collectors.
“The official publication date is March 25 — which happens to be the day Frodo destroyed the ring — but that date is subject to change. All that’s left to do is one more illustration and then we’re all set for publication.
“The books are being printed in Tennessee and then shipped to Ireland. People can place pre-orders with Amazon who I expect will have it in stock in due course.
“I’m a small publisher so I don’t have a marketing division of a larger company — but a number of Irish book stores such as Siopa Leabhair on Harcourt Street have already placed orders. I don’t know how many books will be published because it’s going to be print on demand.”
Rivendell becomes Gleann na Scoilte
The book has been translated by Nicholas Williams, who was formerly associate professor of Irish at University College Dublin.
In Prof Williams’ translation, Rivendell becomes Gleann na Scoilte, Mirkwood becomes An Mhodarchoill and The Water becomes An Dobhar. Hobbiton is translated as Baile na Hobad.