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Re: Tolkien US Editions

Subject: Re: Tolkien US Editions
by Findegil on 2011/10/11 17:09:20

Copies have been seen with the endpapers in silk (as mentioned in Hammond A3l, p. 48) and paper with "Pegasus design". Can we confirm copies with both states? I will try to find out which came first and when the change was made, but for stuff this old EP doesn't always have reliable records.

Both of our copies (see below) have watered silk endsheets.

I am not doubting Wayne and Douglas, but the Easton Press Hobbit gets so little coverage in the Bibliography (seven lines of text, no full entry) that it seems possible that without being aware, they had a later state book.

My scheme in the Bibliography called for full descriptions of discrete British and American trade editions. "Most subsidiary and reprint editions in English are noted only, except reset book club and collector's editions, which are fully described in separate entries" (p. x). Since the Easton Press Hobbit was, in the first instance, a reprint of the Houghton Mifflin Collector's Edition, albeit with a special binding and added plate, it received only a paragraph in the appropriate place. (But clearly, I'm going to have to expand my descriptions in the second edition.)

In the meantime, I published the following addendum in Tolkien Collector 13 (May 1996, after Christina - more particularly, her books! - moved to America and I was able to put my Easton Press Hobbit next to hers):

"The copy of the Easton Press Hobbit I acquired in December 1984 measures (sheet size) 22.5 x 16.9 cm., and the central portion of the text on the copyright page (p. [iv]) reads 'REPRINTED WITH THE PERMISSION OF THE PUBLISHER | HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY.' The copy acquired by Christina a few years later measures only 21.5 x 13.7 cm., and the central portion of the text on p. [iv] reads 'PUBLISHED BY THE EASTON PRESS | WITH THE PERMISSION OF | HOUGHTON MIFFLIN COMPANY.' The sheets of the latter copy, a later impression, have been reduced in size at the expense of the margins and of the Hague frontispiece, all cropped. The cover stamping has been photographically reduced to fit the smaller format. The Hobbit probably was made smaller to make a uniform four-volume set with the Easton Press Lord of the Rings (see Bibliography, p. 141), which from the beginning was roughly the size of the standard Houghton Mifflin trade hardcover it reprints. The earlier Easton Press Hobbit matched in size the Houghton Mifflin 'Collector's edition', A3l."

Wayne