This user is online.Jedi Knight
The Silmarillion much of which was in existence in the years even before 1920, it was written before the Hobbit even existed, much less the lord of the rings. It was the basis for the other two works.
Yes the chapter riddles in the dark was rewritten to better reflect the lord of the rings and the published version of the silmarillion needed two editors to bring it even slightly in alinement with the finished versions of those books.
There is a closeness in Tolkien being a niggler as he called himself and never really being happy or satisfied wholly with his writings, he much preferred language and his lit was just a backdrop for that. And Lucas with his constant changes guess is a niggler too but Tolkien never tried to erase the old version of the Hobbit or pull it out of circulation.
Allan and Unwin could have easily have reprinted the first edition and they could have had competing editions. They only did the corrections in later editions to keep the author happy.
With the later edition of the annotated hobbit and the two volume history of the hobbit books it is very easy to reconstruct the first edition of the book. Why there has been no facsimile first edition is anyone's guess, maybe not to annoy the collectors?
Tolkien allowed both versions of the Riddles in the Dark chapter to be true.
Both are canon in the Published LOTR.
First version Bilbo's diary from an unreliable narrator.
Second version what actually happened.
The so called Hobbit revision that would have made it completely in line with lotr was never finished and only saw publication in the history of the hobbit. The language being changed to reflect the more serious tone of its sequel, the children's nursery tale narrator voice gone, the asides and authorial parental intrusion into the story Tolkien later came to regret and found to be wrong.
He came to believe the censored fairy tales were actually harmful to children. The original uncut grimms was better.
Gandalf having the whole thing planned as a greater design in the hobbit, actually was printed only as a small footnote or paragraph in the appendices of the lord of the rings. And the longer account in unfinished tales. But not necessarily canon with the finished work. Than were any or all drafts of the Silmarillion pre 1977 first printing, the Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings. Only what became fixed in print. That the first edition of the Hobbit was allowed to go out of print is very telling however as is that the version read by Tolkien on tape was the revised version. The version from the early fifties to today has always been the revised version.
If you have a 1930's or 40's printing you might have the original riddles in the dark chapter.