Do you have a treasured edition?

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Blossom Boffin 26/Dec/2006 at 05:10 PM
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I was wondering if any of us had a really special edition of Lord of the Rings (or one of Tolkien’s other writings). My Two Towers and Return of the King are just cheapo editions with the movie covers, but I think my Fellowship of the Ring is very special. It’s a 1974 paperback edition which belonged to my dad, and according to the publication info, it is the forty-ninth printing of the original 1965 paperback edition. At this point the pages are yellow, the cover is crumbling and falling apart, and the binding is actually held together with duct tape, but it has that great old-book smell and I would never part with it.

So what’s yours?
Aragonia Dunami 26/Dec/2006 at 08:02 PM
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I have no idea where my original copies of LOTR went. I read the trilogy over 25 years ago when I lived with my mom. After moving out and staring my own home, I lost track of many of my old things so I think the books probably got sold at a garage sale when my mom moved. They weren’t special copies, but I hate to think I never kept them. l have since repurchased copies, but am waiting to but a special hard cover older edition, maybe on Ebay. 
Nenarye 26/Dec/2006 at 09:14 PM
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Blossom - I was in my local bookstore, looking for a sutible one volume LotR book for a friend, when I saw these smallish old books tucked away in the bookshelf. I picked them out, and knew I wanted them. As it turns out, they were printed in 1965! I only have RotK and TTT, I couldn’t find FotR. They smell wonderfull, and the art on the front is like nothing I have ever seen before. On The Two Towers, it shows a Nazgul on a fellbeast, and the fellbeast is just a black horse with wings. On The RotK cover, it shows Barad-Dur, except the eye on the top, (I presume) is supported by a coperal form of Sauron. It’s pretty cool.

On the top left corner, it says 75 cents. I also have a Hobbit book, which belonged to my Grandfather, which I belive was printed in 1966, although I’m not sure, I don’t have it with me. And by the way, those two LotR books, were only 3.50, as if they were some worthless book ...As if!
Nenarye 26/Dec/2006 at 09:22 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by Nenarye on Tuesday, December 26, 2006
And by the way, those two LotR books, were only 3.50, as if they were some worthless book ...As if!


A funny thought; while most of us here on the plaza would think these book quite special, I suppose that old books like that are not very interesting to people anymore, which is quite sad. We’re always trying to get the newest and next best thing...

And here is something quite special: 1954
Reikon Suchi-ru 26/Dec/2006 at 09:55 PM
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I’m currently waiting for my 1982 Harcover Lord of the Rings set to come through the mail. I’ve been eyeing some of the 1960’s editions online, but they’re too pricey for me. I’m thinking I’ll just have to go to some used book stores and yard sales with books, and then I might be able to pick up a bargain. Here are the one’s I’ll be getting:

Nenarye 26/Dec/2006 at 10:02 PM
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Reikon - If you want those 1960’s editions, definetly look in yard sales, and in used bookshops who aren’t quite sure how to price these old books. With a yard sale the case usually is that the person selling the books has no idea of thier significance. Where I bought my books, they bookstore obviously saw that they were old, and yes, a little beat up, and put a tiny price on them. I’m just so happy I have a bookstore around like that...

And your books look wonderfull Reikon!
halfir 27/Dec/2006 at 12:52 AM
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My 1966 edition of the LOTR. Now, it’s dust covers long since gone and its red covers hanging off- with the spinal part missing, it still remains the edition I use when I want inspirational ideas for my posts. Nutty I know- but it works!X(
Eléowyn 27/Dec/2006 at 01:11 AM
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My 1971 oversized-paperback boxed set.  It was given to me as a birthday gift that same year and replaced my smaller paperback set.  I suppose it is only special in my eyes, being inscribed by my friends with part of Bilbo’s song.

I join the others whose treasured editions are literally falling apart.  Both FotR and RotK are both taped together, though somehow TT has managed to hold together thus far.

Morgil 27/Dec/2006 at 01:34 AM
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Reikon Suchi-Ru...I have that very same edition. It looks like you take as good care of you books as I do of mine.  

I have had several editions over the years. Like aragonia, I first read LotR over 25 years ago. The first set I had was the Silver Jubilee edition. Those poor books were read to destruction. I currently have multiple editions of the Hob, LotR, and the Sil. My favorites are leatherbound collector’s editions of the Hob and LotR, both of which were gifts from my darling wife, who was then my fiance. My other favorite is an original hardcover edition of the Sil which was a gift from a friend who found it in a used bookstore, while on vacation.

geordie 27/Dec/2006 at 06:22 AM
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Nenarye - by the sound of it, I’d say you have a set of the notorious Ace Books pirate ed. there. I have one too; I like the covers. And the illoes inside too; by a man called Jack Gaughan.

My first Tolkien book was a 1975 paperback Hobbit, bought new [I’m a late developer.    ]. Then I bought a hardback set of LotR, which I’d ordered before finishing my first read of LotR, in a set from the library. I still have them’ on the shelf behind me. See?

Since that first reading - in 1976 - I’ve set out to collect eveything written by Tolkien. I’m nearly there - only a few dozen more of the more obscure writings I guess - but then I do have clippings and copies of the real rarities, for private study, which I replace with originals whenever I can.

I’m always cautious about writing about the collection - for fear that some may think I’m showing off; or that others might think I’ve actually got money! And am showing off about that. It’s not that - I definitely don’t have much money [I’ve never spent more than the equivalent of a month’s wages on anything, and I don’t have a highly-paid job]. But then I don’t smoke either; and if I did, I reckon I’d spend a lot more annually on fags than I do on ’the hobby’.

By the way - that thing about a month’s salary - that only happened once. Well ok, twice! But they were exceptions. It was possible once to build up a really good Tolkien collection for not a lot of money - my collection of Medium Aevum [inc. Tolkien’s academic paper Sigelwara Land parts one and two] cost only £1.95 each. Less than the cost of a pint of beer [I’ve had to give up beer now. Still, that means more money for books.]

I don’t think I have any one favourite - the oldest book in the collection is Oxford Poetry 1915, with Tolkien’s poem ’Goblin Feet’. And then I saw a copy of ’Oxford Poetry 1914-1916’ at a book fair for £8.00! Knocked it down to six quid. They’re both very nice. Then there’s the academic and poetical contributions to books in the 1920s. I’m very fond of all of those. And books from the 30s; 40s; 50s and 60s: and, actually, every decade since! Coupla signed ones too; again, not much money at the time! And then there’s TH and LotR. Dozens of ’em. I used to tramp up and down Charing Cross Road a lot in those days; and visit book fairs - got myself known to some of the dealers, who are a friendly bunch - sometimes they’d put me on to a good deal.

Apart from LotR - the reason I came to love Tolkien’s works in the first place - I really like the academic stuff; and anything to do with Tolkien’s life-story. So, my latest acquisition - ’Transactions of the Philological Society 1934’ inc. Tolkien’s ’Chaucer as a Philologist: The Reeve’s Tale’ - is very useful. I had a [bad] copy of the paper of course; for private study; but it’s not the same as having the original. And the best thing for me is the little bits of info in the rest of the publication - details of friends and colleagues of Tolkien, and of the great Dictionary, in which he’d had a part. All pieces in the puzzle. Another area of collecting is editions which had once been owned by Tolkien’s friends and colleagues. This is an area not much inhabited by any but the most seriously nutty Tolkienites! - so, prices are not high. But it’s nice to see their names in the books [gives me a feeling of connection]. And sometimes these kind souls _write_ things in the margins of the books. So adding more pieces to the puzzle.

As I say - I don’t have any one favourite. The books themselves seem to be happier* when kept in a certain order; and now and again I take down a secton to look through; which often leads to queries which can be answered by investigations in another section, or sections. Keeps me happy for hours!

* About books seeming happier - not as daft as it sounds! As anyone who’s read of the library in Pratchett’s Disc World would know. The thing about collecting - any kind of collecting, whether books, or pottery or old cars or motorbikes [I can’t afford _that_] - is that each piece, whether a book or a nice piece of pottery or whatever- finds its own place. It has an individuality, after all.


Endril 27/Dec/2006 at 08:28 AM
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Aww, nice thread for today hehe. Today I bought a real great edition of LOTR that is the best that I have. It’s on the fanatic shop too. It’s the pack that contains LOTR the trilogy and the hobbit and it has incredible graphics.

Eléowyn 27/Dec/2006 at 10:11 AM
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Ah, I forgot to mention the story behind my copy of The Sil.  My (then) husband bought it for me when it was first published and I kept it for many years.  Then a few years ago it somehow got put into the box of books I was donating for our library’s annual sale.  A couple of years ago I went to the library to check out The Sil, and much to my surprise, there on the shelves was my copy!  I checked it out, then managed to "lose" it, thus regaining my copy through paying the lost book fine.  It’s back on my shelf now. Shhhhh. Don’t tell!
Saranna 27/Dec/2006 at 10:29 AM
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I really love my little edition of Smith of Wootton Major, a 1972 5th impression of the small-format original published in the UK in 1967. Such a little book, such a BIG sotry inside.
Lord of the Rings 27/Dec/2006 at 02:24 PM
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geordie, I’d like to let you know that I love hearing about your collection, and it doesn’t sound like you’re showing off or anything of the sort. It’s simply fascinating to hear about your books

For my part, I’ve got two sets of my own for TLotR, both quite new. One is the hardcover set illustrated by Alan Lee, a Christmas present of a few years ago; and an all-in-one paper back of the 50th anniversary set which I got last summer and have fallen in love with.

I first read TLotR in my parent’s old paperback copies. I don’t know the date, probably the 70’s. I also love those, but they are not mine, and almost completely fallen apart, so I rarely use them anymore. But they are nice on the bookshelf
Lanthir Lamath 27/Dec/2006 at 02:41 PM
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My treasured edition...yes, I have one, you can see it HERE . While it’s neither old, nor worn, nor valuable, it’s very important to me, because of a family story: my daddy and I fought over these books, because I wanted to get them out of their wraps and read them, and he liked them in their wraps_ so when I insisted, he ripped the wrap appart, even doing a little damage to the book, and very nearly threw them at me. A nasty story? Perhaps.

But one and a half year later, when my father was suffering throat cancer, the last week I saw him stand... one day, he smiled, pointed at me, and then at the books, took them down from the bookcases and gave them to me. It was the last gift he ever gave me_ he died before the year was out... I couldn’t ever part with them.

Nenarye 27/Dec/2006 at 07:15 PM
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geordie - Yes, I have the Ace versions...they are pirated? What would that mean anyways?
Eltara 27/Dec/2006 at 07:50 PM
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I just got the 50th anniverary hardcover edition of the entire trilogy in one for Christmas and it has a unique feeling that only comes with a hardcover book unlike my old paperback copies.  They were very worn movie cover paperbacks and though both prints have the same story I found that the 50th anniversary edition had a more almost sacred, untouchable, magical quality to it. Whereas the paperbacks were worn, used and simplistic even with being the same story and not some random old other book. Anyways, I have no idea if any of that made sense because I don’t know if it’s just me, but trying to describe the feelings that a book will provoke when it’s the same book yet very worn and used or high quality and untouched bring about numerous different feelings. This is such a neat topic but I think I’d better stop before I confuse even myself with my rambles about books and their unique feeling and smells... 
Curubethion 27/Dec/2006 at 09:13 PM
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Same here, the 50th anniversary...that’s the most treasured my edition gets. It’s a really cool edition, especially when you get the illustrations in there as you read. One of the most interesting parts was seeing how some of the movie scenes were exactly copied from some of Alan Lee’s watercolors. Anyway, it’s also now very easy to know where my LOTR is, whenever debate season comes around...

I understand completely what you mean about the magic of the hardcovers. It’s like it’s almost "more real" since it’s a hardcover, not some cheapo story in paperback. True, paperback is more accessible, but I like reading hardcover much more. It just feels...great!

Dis 27/Dec/2006 at 09:20 PM
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I’d have to say mine is a 1965 Houghton Mifflin boxed set, They have black covers with with the eye/ring logo drawn by Tolkien and the yellow, purple and red dust wrappers. I bought then used in a bookstore in Oregon in the mid eighties. I’ve read them many times since and they are still in great shape.
Reikon Suchi-ru 27/Dec/2006 at 11:07 PM
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Nenarye - Tolkien’s works were first published in the UK, but he forgot to copyright his material, so several US publishing companies copied his books without his permission, and with no royalties going to him. I’ve seen several pirated copies myself, and they are actually quite fun to collect!
geordie 28/Dec/2006 at 02:14 AM
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- Tolkien’s works were first published in the UK, but he forgot to copyright his material, so several US publishing companies copied his books without his permission, and with no royalties going to him. I’ve seen several pirated copies myself, and they are actually quite fun to collect!

That’s interesting - I did’nt know there were lots of different pirate eds. The only ones I’ve heard of are the Ace paperbacks; and there were some taiwan copies a few years ago. [can’t remember when exactly]. And there are many illegal copies behind what used to be called the Iron Curtain, I believe.

Hadn’t heard of any others, though. Could you tell us what they are? [Not e-books, if you don’t mind - I don’t care for those; and anyway the Plaza has a policy against illegal electronic copies.] Ta.

BTW - Tolkien and his publishers did’nt forget to copyright the books - the UK volumes are fully loaded as it were. What happened was that the US publishers - Houghton Mifflin - used sheets from Allen and Unwin, but printed their own title pages, and copyright pages. The Fellowship of the Ring carried a copyright notice; but RK did not. Not sure about TT at the moment - I can look it up if necessary.

Anyway - the agreement between the US and the UK at the time stated that firms were not allowed to import more than 1500 copies of a book - an old law, to protect US printing jobs. In the 60s, Donald Wollheim of Ace Books saw that a] LotR was selling well - and guestimated that HM must have exceeded the 1500 copies rule and b] in his opinion, the fact that 2 out of 3 vols. did not have a copyright statement meant that the books were now in the public domain; and so printed off 100,000 copies without asking permission, nor even informing Tolkien and his publishers [which would have been good manners at least - but then, a thief is seldom good-mannered ]

Rayner Unwin of Allen & Unwin heard of Wollheim’s plans, and warned Tolkien and HM. They decided the way to reclaim copyright was for Tolkien to revise the book. This he did, from 1965 to 1967. As Rayner said, one result of this affair was to take Tolkien away from work on Silm; as well as causing considerable upset.

Tolkien launched a campaign against Ace in 1965 [by simply writing to his fans in the US and asking them to spread the word that Ace were pirates] - the result being that Ace made an arrangement with Tolkien to pay him a royalty, and not to publish any more after the 100,000 copies had been sold. In fact, in the period 1966-7 the numbers of books returned to Ace by distributors outnumbered the numbers of books sold. Tolkien had won.

Were the Ace books illegal? Did Wollheim have law on his side? Well, no. Ace were never taken to court, but in 1992 another firm calling itself Eisen, Durwood and co. went to court in New York, claiming that at least FR and TT were in the public domain. Judge Vincent L. Broderick found the case against them; his decision was upheld on appeal a year later.

The full sorry story can be found in Scull-Hammonds’ JRR Tolkien: A Companion and Guide [2006]

I still think it very likely, and very sad, that this affair probably did put Tolkien off working on Silm in the mid-sixties. All down to Wollheim’s greed. It’s a damn shame.
Saranna 28/Dec/2006 at 04:15 AM
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Yes, you are right, Geordie - I for one would never touch a pirated edition of any author’s book and certainly see no fun in them.
Eltara 28/Dec/2006 at 01:58 PM
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Pirated editions of everything are just plain wrong and not true to whomever created whatever the pirated edition is of. (Did that make any sense?)
Reikon Suchi-ru 28/Dec/2006 at 04:07 PM
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I’ll concede to geordie on this one, as I’m not exactly schooled in this. I just possessed a general (now known to be flawed) knowledge of the subject. The only pirated copies that I personally knew of where the ones made in Taiwan (of which I have a copy) and the Ace copies (which I’m searching for). I don’t condone piracy, and am glad that Tolkien, effectively, won in the fight against Ace, but I still would like to have a piece of Tolkien history, and seeing as that book on eBay is around $10,000, I’ll stick with trying to find old versions and pirated copies.
geordie 28/Dec/2006 at 05:11 PM
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[I have a copy of the Ace edition too, as I said. But please don’t hold it against me. ]

I _need_ it, all right? For the collection. [and I bought it second hand [or prob. twenty-second hand more like] in the nineties; so Wollheim never got his mitts on my money!

I do like the illustrations on the covers and for the frontispieces, though.


$10,000? Too much for me!
geordie 28/Dec/2006 at 05:14 PM
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Eltara - - Pirated editions of everything are just plain wrong and not true to whomever created whatever the pirated edition is of. (Did that make any sense?)

Yes! - welcome to the Plaza by the way; if it’s not too late to do so.


Reikon Suchi-ru 28/Dec/2006 at 05:14 PM
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Geordie - That’s exactly how I was thinking of it! I bought my Taiwanese copy at a used book store for $3, so the way I see it is: the bookstore got some revenue, so therefore it can stay in business and sell more cool, old books, and the pirating Ace company doesn’t get anything!
Nírithil 28/Dec/2006 at 05:40 PM
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I don’t know.. There’s my one hardcover LotR, then there’s my dad’s old paprback Hobbit he gave to me.. Hehe, I remember he gave it to me and I was like, "Ok, I’ll read it.. eventually." Of course, I did read it eventually. Now I have an old copy of Book of Lost Tales 1, but I don’t know if it’s a first edition or not.. who knows?
geordie 28/Dec/2006 at 05:49 PM
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Book of Lost Tales Part 1, old? [checks date. 1983!] Blimey! That’s not old at all! Just recent, in fact. I remember buying my copy new, when I were a lad. [*ahem*. stop sniggering at the back]
Nírithil 28/Dec/2006 at 06:14 PM
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Well, not old old.. but its not new either
Blossom Boffin 28/Dec/2006 at 07:01 PM
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I didn’t know any of this stuff about the pirated editions! I had wondered why the back cover of my copy had the following message from J.R.R. Tolkien himself: "This paperback edition, and no other, has been published with my consent and co-operation. Those who approve of courtesy (at least) to living authors will purchase it, and no other." I thought this was a rather lovely (and very Tolkien-esque) way of putting things, and now that I know about his pirated copyright it makes perfect sense.
Morgil 29/Dec/2006 at 12:24 AM
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geordie...Heh! Keep in mind that to many  members of the Plaza, people in our age groups are already ancient.   They do not have the... um..."maturity" (Yes, that’s it!) to remember "recently" purchasing first editions of BoLT, part 1. And, my friend, comfort yourself with the knowledge that in 20 or 30 years, others will be doing unto them as they are currently doing unto us.
geordie 29/Dec/2006 at 01:46 AM
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Blossom Boffin - welcome to the Plaza! Yes indeed, that message is by Tolkien; it was his idea, I think, to include this notice. He also let the Tolkien Society of America know of his displeasure with the Ace mob; and, in those pre-internet days, they and other fans in the US did a darn fine job of spreading the news - by word of mouth mainly, and also in their publication _The Tolkien Journal_ . Some used direct action; going into bookshops and demanding the Ace ed. be removed from the shelves. The press got hold of the story [they dubbed it ’The War over Middle-earth’, and the Science Fiction Writers’ Association of America made their feelings known too. Wollheim, whose firm published a lot of science-fiction, took the hint, and made a settlement with Tolkien.

He still reckoned, for years after, that he was in the right. Twit!

Morgil -   

Lord of the Rings - thanks for your kind words.
Dragons Malice 29/Dec/2006 at 06:27 AM
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I too was pleased with a copy of the 50th Anniversary Edition Box set for Christmas (including Hammond & Scull’s A Readers Companion). While it may not be an early edition, it means alot to me as my sister (who I haven’t seen for 5 years) bought it for me. She also got me a copy of Unfinished Tales.
Reikon Suchi-ru 29/Dec/2006 at 10:15 AM
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Question: Does anyone else have this edition of Silmarillion? The covers are kind of frosted, and I love the cover art and the size of the book. Though I like my pocket-sized editions of the books (I want new ones, as they’re the movie editions, and I feel kinda noob-ish having them) I love this Silmarillion book a lot:

Nenarye 29/Dec/2006 at 10:57 AM
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Reikon - Yep. That’s the edition of the Silm that I own. The cover art is pretty cool, and it is nice how it isn’t the size of rubix cube...
geordie 29/Dec/2006 at 02:42 PM
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I don’t have that edition - I don’t collect paperbacks much nowadays. The cover art is nice, isn’t it - It’s called ’At Lake Cuiveninen’ by Ted Nasmith.
Catiri 29/Dec/2006 at 02:52 PM
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Quote: Originally posted by geordie on Wednesday, December 27, 2006
* About books seeming happier - not as daft as it sounds! As anyone who’s read of the library in Pratchett’s Disc World would know. The thing about collecting - any kind of collecting, whether books, or pottery or old cars or motorbikes [I can’t afford _that_] - is that each piece, whether a book or a nice piece of pottery or whatever- finds its own place. It has an individuality, after all.



geordie, as always you said it perfectly!. My collection (that is no where near as good as his!) sits in it’s own order that just seems ’right’. Although i do have to say that my favourite copy is a dog eared, yellowed, sellotaped paperback version that was given to me by my dad as my first copy. It had been passed around the family for a round 10  years and has been saved too many times to count. Though i love a set i bought that included a cd with Tolkien reading exceprts and my 50th anniversary editions. But like geordie said ireally can’t choose
Mo 29/Dec/2006 at 03:02 PM
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My leather bound, gold leaf, full set of Tolkien books (which were a gift from Luthy) are my treasured copies and I have not read any of them nor am I ever likely to.
geordie 29/Dec/2006 at 03:13 PM
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Catiri -    

Mo - - ahh... sounds like the Easton Press - I like them; tho’ I only have TH; LotR and Silm. They really are luvly. Excellent pull-out, fold-up maps, too. [you will stop me rambling if it turns out I’m wrong, won’t you?


Funny thing is, though; they began with TH, in the mid-80s, and so that book has a lovely front cover, with the runic inscription ’Stand by the grey stone’ etc. But then they’ve used that same cover for every other book since. Looks odd on Silm.

Have you noticed the runic spelling mistake?

Of course, I expect you’ll now say that I’m dead wrong, and it ain’t Easton Press, and I’ll have egg on my face. Oh well. Makes a change from having egg down me front when I’m having breakfast. [old age creeping on!]
Mo 29/Dec/2006 at 03:20 PM
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No, it’s Easton Press alright. I like that they all have the same cover, it makes the display so much neater. As for the spelling, who am I to criticize?
Reikon Suchi-ru 29/Dec/2006 at 03:31 PM
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geordie - Your expertise is needed in my ’Help Authenticating A Book’ thread in this forum.
arien_laurelin 29/Dec/2006 at 06:45 PM
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Well I have an original first edition "Farmer Giles of Ham" printed by Unwin Hyman/ Allen and Unwin in 1949!! It is very beautiful. I was looking through some books of my late grandmothers and sitting along side a 1915 publication of shakespeare’s works was Farmer Giles of Ham, a favourite bed time story of my mothers. Now sitting on my shelf amongst the rest of Tolkien’s writtings. (including an italian publication of The Return of the King )
geordie 30/Dec/2006 at 06:43 AM
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arien - A first ed. Farmer Giles of Ham - smashing! One of only 4,500 trade copies [there were also 500 copies in library bindings
[source - JRR Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography by Wayne G.Hammond 1993]

The illustrations are lovely, aren’t they? By Pauline Baynes. CS Lewis saw them, and asked Miss Baynes to illustrate his own book, in 1950. That was The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; and Pauline Baynes went on to produce the illustrations for the other six books in the series.

Miss Baynes also made illustrations for Tolkien’s The Adventures of Tom Bombadil and [esp. lovely] for Smith of Wootton Major. She’s also the _only_ artist to do illustrations for The Homecoming of Beorhtnoth Beorhthelm’s Son [in the de luxe ed. of Poems and Stories, 1981].

And of course a lot of UK fans had as their first copy of LotR the 1968 paperback with two panels of the Pauline Baynes triptych illustration, first used for the box for the 1963 3-volume de luxe set [which did’nt sell well during the 60s, but which now commands a high price, because there wern’t many of the printed].

I’ve had the privilege of seeing one of Miss Bayne’s original drawings for Smith. The draughtsmanship is superb; the artistic ’heart’ of the drawing is unbeatable!
Endril 30/Dec/2006 at 09:03 AM
Healer of Imladris Points: 9193 Posts: 9362 Joined: 15/Jan/2006
Well, I love my edition a lot but that woun’t keep me from reading it with a lot of care. BTW, I began doing that last night and I love the way in which the maps are shown and also some parts and titles written in the rune alphabet. That’s so great. The book with which I began id the hobbit and that map at the begining looks great. I will read the LOTR too for sure. It’s my first English edition.
Beregond Abell 30/Dec/2006 at 05:17 PM
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I have the 1965 ones. the first ones that were printed. I found them at a old book store. and bought them for fifty cents apeice. I dont think that they knew how spectial they are. They have the origanal eye on the cover. I bought them when i was 13 years old and love them very dearly.  My mom thretened me that she was going to throw them away if i kept reading them so much. That was when i was younger though. now that im older she understands how much i love them
Tup Spice 30/Dec/2006 at 05:33 PM
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I have an ancient--from my perspective --boxed set of Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit that used to belong to my father and I err borrowed without the intention of returning to him. They’ve been read so often by everyone in my family that it’s almost falling apart now. I also have a newer boxed set that my grandparents bought for me one Christmas with the movie covers, and I’ve hardly ever read those because quite frankly, I prefer paperback--easier to carry and just more lovable.
I have one shiney and very pretty Silmarillion that I’m afraid to read--just a regular paperback but it looks too new to read!--and an old second-hand hard cover one with a Christmas message addressed to a complete stranger on the inside cover. Same with UT; one black paperback that I don’t want to read and a very ratty and somewhat ugly paperback. I’m still collecting my HoME, and at this moment I think I have both the BoLT (the colourful paperback version, if anyone knows what I’m talking about!), the Lays of Beleriand, and Lost Road. All of them but the Lays are second-hand and they look it too. I prefer books that way though, I feel like I’m reliving someone else’s love for books, as opposed to brand-new ones that just haven’t been broken in, if that makes ANY sense at all. Plus, it’s cheaper and I haven’t got that much money.
Nenarye 30/Dec/2006 at 05:36 PM
Defender of Imladris Points: 839 Posts: 376 Joined: 08/Oct/2006
Piglet - Check the dates on your LotR books; you’ve caught my interest.
Tup Spice 30/Dec/2006 at 05:49 PM
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I just did, and the older ones were published in 1985. That’s funny, my dad told me he read them in high school, and as far as I can tell, he wasn’t in high school then... unless he failed a few times and forgot to mention it.

And I just checked the publishing date for the Sil, and it’s the first American edition! I’ll have to treasure this one; at first I didn’t like it because it was hardback and the cover was falling off, but I grew to love it as it’s got all these little notes in the margins.

Okay, I know very little about this publishing jobbies--I ALWAYS had difficulties with the dates when citing works, there’re all kinds of dates written everywhere, how can I desipher one from another? *g*--but this struck me as pretty peculiar: like I said the old copy of LotR that I own are a boxed set, but the FotR is the fifth printing, while the TTT is the eightieth, RotK is the seventy-sixth and TH is the thirteenth. They’re all printed in the same year (July 1985), but its err printing number(?) is staggeringly different... is this normal? It seems funny to me that FotR is only the fifth printing while the TTT is eightieth.
Nenarye 30/Dec/2006 at 08:48 PM
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Oh, and I forgot to include this in my last post:

Beregond - The first LotR books to be printed were printed in 1954, not 1965. And By the way, are they the Ace versions? I have those to...

What’s on the cover?
Beregond Abell 30/Dec/2006 at 09:44 PM
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Nenarye. you just broke my heart. i thought that they were. but now that i look again i see that they say second edition.  man that sucks. but there still old...

Its hard cover and its black with a ring and a eye in the middle of the ring. I dont think that the are. it says "Houghton Mifflin Company Boston" thats who printed them.

geordie 31/Dec/2006 at 02:17 AM
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Not to rub it in or anything...    but the Houghton Mifflin books were’nt actually printed in 1965 - that date applies to the revised text, which was first published in paperback by Ballantine Books in Oct. 1965 as a counter to the illegal Ace edition of May that year.

Houghton Mifflin published their Second Edition in 1967 - and kept the ’1965’ date in many subsequent printings, so it’s dificult to tell which are the earliest printings. [mine are: FR 15th; TT 20th; RK 20th].

Generally, the ones with the jacket design by Robert Quackenbush are the earliest; the jacket designs were changed later, but by then some eds. also carried later copyright dates, and some of these also have a very useful ’Note on the Text’ by Douglas A.Anderson. The actual date of printing does’nt make too much difference; the revised text is the same in all of ’em.

One thing I do like about the HM set is the ’Ring and Eye’ design stamped onto the front boards - my early set [from the library of Tolkien’s secretary Joy Hill, as it happens] - is a nice example. The design on FR is in copper and gilt; that on TT is a vivid red and gilt; and on RK a vibrant and gorgeous purple and gilt. Still keeps its looks!
Nenarye 31/Dec/2006 at 08:17 AM
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Beregond - This shouldn’t break your heart. You have some very nice books there.   
Beregond Abell 31/Dec/2006 at 09:35 AM
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Geordie:  Yeah mine has that same Ring and eye design. With the difrint colors. And it does say 1965, so thats what im standing on.

Nenarye: Thanks, I like them. It has the same words in them and i can still read it, so there just great for me.

geordie 01/Jan/2007 at 03:42 PM
Hugo Bracegirdle Points: 20570 Posts: 14087 Joined: 06/Mar/2005
Thanks, I like them. It has the same words in them and i can still read it, so there just great for me.

Absolutely right! The text of the Second Edition has not changed substantially since 1965 - there are one or two exceptions. The main differences occurred between the first ed. and the second ed. Mind you, there were also some changes _within_ the first edition, because Tolkien would’nt leave it alone - he kept fiddling with it! But the main thing is that the text we have should’nt interfere with our enjoyment of the books. That’s the reason Tolkien wrote the books in the first place - to be enjoyed.

Some of the diffs - in the 2nd ed we see Shadowfax go over Sea with Gandalf - and Tolkien drops an episode where Aragorn lost his temper with Gimli. Now that was a shame.