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Re: BBC Radio 4 - Archive on 4 Tolkien: The Lost Recordings
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We had a sinking feeling as soon as Joss Ackland began his bizarre and wholly unnecessary 'narration', but kept hoping that, well, they would finish with 'the making of Tolkien in Oxford' and get on to the 'lost recordings'. Most annoying was listening to remarks about watching the offcuts - and just how much of Tolkien, in the end, was cut and thus 'lost'? Perhaps the BBC will finally issue a DVD of the 1968 programme with 'deleted scenes'. At least Tom Shippey was incisive and entertaining, as he always is. Little of what we heard by JRRT was new, in the sense of not having been said by him somewhere else.

Looking back at the advertising for this, we see that it was accurate: what was promised was a programme about the 'search for unheard gems', and that's what we got, though of course it's not what we were meant to think we were going to get.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 8/7 4:31:36


Re: The Hill sketch
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The drawing in question has been published only in the first edition of Pictures by J.R.R. Tolkien. In his foreword to the second edition, Christopher Tolkien notes the 'unfortunate error' in the first of 'an unpublished sketch' being substituted for the finished ink frontispiece of the first printing of The Hobbit; and Wayne thus described it in the Descriptive Bibliography as a preliminary pencil sketch. When we came to write J.R.R. Tolkien: Artist and Illustrator and were able to see the original art at the Bodleian, we found that the so-called 'sketch' was in fact a tracing Tolkien had made of the ink frontispiece to transfer its outlines to a fresh sheet, on which he made the watercolour version: see Artist and Illustrator, p. 107 and note 21, and The Art of The Hobbit, p. 31, where we describe the process. Since the tracing was neither a preliminary sketch nor finished art, but only a 'mechanical' in which there was no development, there was no point in reproducing it.

Wayne & Christina

Posted on: 7/25 4:18:55


Re: Printed price to determine date
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It's difficult to know what went on with that one-volume LR (and I can't think now why I didn't give it a separate entry when the imprint changed from George Allen & Unwin to Unwin Paperbacks, as it was clearly meant to be a new edition in the publishing sense, though most of the type remained the same).

Christina and I don't have what tolkienbooks.net is calling the first state of the first impression (1978) of the Unwin Paperbacks edition, but our 16th impression (1976) of the one-volume paperback has the same cover points, including the price £3.95.

We do have a first impression (1978) with the same (Baynes) cover, now with the Unwin Paperbacks device, with a printed price on the lower cover of £5.50, and also a first impression (1978) with the film tie-in cover, with the price £2.95. I think it's a good guess that the lower price was to encourage sales, building on film publicity. Our copy of this impression with a higher price is clearly narrower, which suggests that unsold copies of the first impression were later stripped and re-covered, then trimmed at the fore-edge.

We have a third impression (1979) with the film tie-in cover, with a sticker with $9.95, evidently for sale in Canada, affixed over the price panel on the lower cover; but also a copy of the same impression, not trimmed, in the Baynes cover and priced at £4.95.

Wayne

Posted on: 7/10 4:46:20


Re: Unwin PB 1987 Reissued Edition Impression question
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Christina and I have most of the progression of printings of this issue from 1986 to 1987, and the copyright pages bear out what I understand of Allen & Unwin's practice at the time.

The first of these, when the 'fourth edition' of 1981 (a reprint of the reset 'third edition' of 1979) was reissued in the 'Unicorn' series with new cover art by Roger Garland and an added cover device, is indicated on the copyright page as 'Re-issued in Unicorn 1986', with nothing further (thus the first printing in this sequence).

The next printing has: 'Re-issued in Unicorn 1986 | Reprinted 1986' (thus the second printing in this sequence).

The next has: 'Re-issued in Unicorn 1986 | Reprinted 1986 (twice)' (thus the third printing in this sequence).

We don't have a copy with 'Reprinted 1986 (three times)', but we do have the next (the fifth in the sequence -- always assuming that the publisher got the numbering correct, and didn't skip any), which has 'Re-issued 1986 | Reprinted 1986 (three times), 1987'. By this time, the 'Unicorn' cover device was gone, the series apparently having been discontinued as a marketing effort, which would explain why it has 'Re-issued 1986' and not 'Re-issued in Unicorn 1986'.

Unless something has changed since I did bibliographic work there, e.g. records having been found and transferred from HarperCollins, the Allen & Unwin archive at Reading can't come into it for books of this date: the records end long before 1987.

Wayne

Posted on: 5/22 5:12:01


Re: The Appendices of The Lord of the Rings
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I noticed a couple of very minor issues, which look to be to a matter of editorial changes, rather than actual incorrect text in the latest edition. As an example on page 1129 (line 17), the first edition has the word 'dealings' and the latest version says 'dealing'. I prefer 'dealings' as in the first edition, but both are correct, and it would not seem appropriate for any changes to be made in this case.


It's worth noting even "very minor issues": there may not be any effect on meaning, but one must also consider the author's intent. In regard to dealing/dealings, this is an interesting difference as it didn't enter in any of the usual places in the history of publication. I suspected that the -s may have been dropped by accident in the 1994 resetting, which has "dealing"; but then I checked the first printing of the second Allen & Unwin edition, and that has "dealing" too. From this I suspected that "dealing" may have entered in the Ballantine text, from which Allen & Unwin took the Appendices for their second edition, Tolkien's marked copy for Ballantine having been lost; but Ballantine has "dealings", following the first edition. The error "dealing" entered, then, in the Allen & Unwin second, and has persisted unnoticed.

I would call this an error on the basis of "dealings" in the first edition, which is also in the comparable text from the manuscript printed in Peoples of Middle-earth, and from "dealings" in the Ballantine text which suggests that Tolkien didn't mark it for change, and from the fact that all other instances of the word in The Lord of the Rings with similar usage have "dealings".

Wayne

Posted on: 1/3 9:17:03



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