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Re: Tolkien books for sale in UK on ebay
Shirrif
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Wayne has already answered this point in The Descriptive Bibliography page 220

The first print order was for 100,000 copies. By the end of May 1977 booksellers' orders included 65,000 from overseas, and the print run was increased to 300,000. Later the order was raised to 325,000, and in September to 375,000. Several firms were commissioned to print the book, at one time four printers, working in blocks of 50,000 copies, to insure against a feared industrial action stopping production.


Each firm printed a different impression number in the book, (Clowes & Billings both printed first impressions). They were pretty much all printed at the same time, apart from William Clowes' printed copies which were in three distinct printings and two different impressions (first and second).

One mystery which has been discussed before on the forum is about the third impression. It does not appear to exist.

Posted on: 2010/7/15 9:57

Edited by Trotter on 2010/7/15 11:07:56
Edited by Trotter on 2010/7/15 11:38:44


Re: Tolkien books for sale in UK on ebay
Thain
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Thanks Wayne!

Out of (very idle) curiosity, why were they making more printings of The Silmarillion through 1992 if they still had a bunch of second impressions in the warehouse?

Posted on: 2010/7/15 9:25
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Re: Tolkien books for sale in UK on ebay
Home away from home
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The Silmarillion in our Tolkien Library set is a 2nd impression, and the set came to Christina directly from the Tolkien books Allen & Unwin/Unwin Hyman had kept for consultation in their library, but which they eventually gave to the Bodleian or discarded. There were in fact many copies of the Allen & Unwin 2nd impression Silmarillion still in the warehouse as late as 1992, when HarperCollins issued them in a Centenary dust-jacket.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 2010/7/15 4:18


Re: Tolkien books for sale in UK on ebay
Shirrif
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The copy of the Silmarillion in my Tolkien Library is the 4th impression. I think the key point is that the books in this boxset are all published in 1978 so you would not expect to find a 2nd impression (1977 printing) in this book. I think Khamul may be right and it is not the original copy.

Posted on: 2010/7/14 21:15


Re: Tolkien books for sale in UK on ebay
Shirrif
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Hmmm... pretty expensive school prize. Cost £24 in late 70's (according to Hammond)... still, I should have read the description!

BH

Posted on: 2010/7/14 14:42
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You drive a hard bargain – you can have it for £10 all-in – one consolation (for you) is that you do not have to hear the cries of my children, for bread...



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