The Hobbit: a book that has well and truly stood the test of time approaches its 75th anniversary, and in light of that, ponders its success, and looks forward to the cinematic reincarnation that will see it live on beyond another 75 years.

The Hobbit has sold 100 million copies and been translated into approximately fifty languages, including two of Tolkien’s favourites; Icelandic and West Frisian. Perhaps one reason for its titanic success, considering it’s a child’s book, is the lack of children. Relatable adults, small in stature like kids, but facing big huge problems akin to tax returns and exploding boilers, but in the form of wizardry and spells have enticed younger generations for the best part of a century. Interestingly, there isn’t a single female character in the story, and I don’t mean that there are females, but they’ve all got boyfriends or girlfriends. No. There aren’t any women! For whatever reason, probably due to Tolkien’s mastery of storytelling, this hasn’t proved a problem, but we’ll just have to wait and see how a 2012 audience views the omission of a lady-character.

Talking of the feature-film (of which there are going to be three, director Peter Jackson announced) the first one, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, hits cinemas in time for Christmas on the 14th of December.