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THE LORD OF THE RINGS comprising THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING [with] THE TWO TOWERS [with] THE RETURN OF THE KING. Three Volumes. First Editions
London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1954-55.. First Editions. Hardcover. Good. First Edition, Second Impression of Volume One, First Edition, First Impressions of Volumes 2 & 3, Volume 3 being in the first state of the first edition. Three volumes, comprising 'The Fellowship of the Ring', 'The Two Towers' and 'The Return of the King'. Octavo, original red cloth stamped in gold on spine panels, top edges stained red, folding maps at rear of each volume. 423 + 352 + 416 pp. 2,500 copies of FELLOWSHIP were printed, 3,250 copies of THE TWO TOWERS, and 7,000 copies of THE RETURN OF THE KING (but this was spread out over several issues, of which we have the first). Condition is overall GOOD - Vol 1 is slightly cocked, the spine panel a bit faded, worn at head & heel and with a long split to the cloth along the outer rear spine hinge. Volume 2 has just trifling wear at extremities, very slight cocking to the spine and faded red top page edges; Volume 3 has some staining to the spine, faded top page edges and slight spine lean. All volumes have slightly browned endpapers, and are nearly fine internally. A good, sound set. ¶ The First Edition of the last classic. THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS, originally issued in July, 1954, is present here in the second impression of December 1954, THE TWO TOWERS is the correct 1st printing, and THE RETURN OF THE KING is the correct first printing, first state, with undamaged text and no signature mark '4' on p. 49 There is also a variant in the last line of page 281, of which this is the version with Men spelled with no gap in the letters. In "J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography" (1993), Wayne Hammond states that this variant of page 49 is the latest issue, but this statement was based on the assumption that the damaged text would have been picked up by the printers and corrected. This was not the case - all later impressions included the damaged text, although the signature mark was removed after the second impression. Hammond noted this misinterpretation in Issue 11 of 'The Tolkien Collector'.
      [Bookseller: Thompson Rare Books]
Last Found On: 2014-07-29           Check availability:      Biblio    

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