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Re: The Wonders of eBay

Subject: Re: The Wonders of eBay
by Findegil on 2011/5/9 12:05:31

that's from 1st edition Houghton Mifflin edition, I think

Yes, it's the version redrawn (almost certainly not by Tolkien) for the American edition and printed as line art rather than as a half-tone.

I often wondered why it was not in the later copies, did Tolkien not like it or think it was out of place in the book?

Tolkien liked it just fine, though he wanted it to be the front endpaper in The Hobbit, with Thror's Map an inserted plate (with the moon-runes on the back), not the other way around. As Garm says, its disappearance after the second printing (1937) of the Allen & Unwin edition, along with all but one of the colour plates, was probably a matter of economy, and austerity continued until well after the war. I'm not aware of any correspondence about Mirkwood when the colour art returned to the book; perhaps new printing plates were needed, and because the original art for Mirkwood was unavailable (Tolkien had given the drawing to a student from China), it was left out. But this is just guessing.

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