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Silmarillion Question [Ballantine Books edition]
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I recently acquired a first Ballantine books edition of The Silmarillion, and was surprised to find that at least two of the points that denote the earlier printings of the hardcover book are present in this paperback. The period after Feanor is missing and the italicized “and” is present (Lord of Waters and King of the Sea) in the Index of Names. Not being too familiar with publishing or printing practices, I wondered if anyone could enlighten me as to why this would be the case given that in subsequent editions of the hardcover, these mistakes were rectified.
Interesting to note that the Unwin paperback edition from the same year, 1979, does have the corrected text.

Posted on: 2010/11/12 16:36

Edited by Red on 2010/11/13 0:16:56
Edited by Red on 2010/11/16 14:56:58
Edited by Khamul on 2010/11/28 9:53:35


Re: Silmarillion Question
Shirrif
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Imagine nobody bothering to answer you Red! Btw, did you add the little postscript about the Unwin pb? Anyway, I don't know. I don't collect US Silmarillion's, so I'm not that familiar with when the various errors (that Hammond sites) were corrected in the US edition i.e. after what printing. You have to suspect that Ballantine simply produced the paperback from an early printing. Unwin didn't. But the 1978 UK BCA edition introduced new errors, some of which weren't rectified until the 1990's BCA/Guild editions. I suspect Wayne might have a clearer answer for you.

BH

Posted on: 2010/11/18 10:00
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Re: Silmarillion Question
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Sorry, Red, I meant to reply to your question right away, but was sidetracked. Not that I can add much to what Khamul has written. I haven't done a study of later Silmarillion printings, in the various editions, to trace when corrections were made (if they were made), though I'm sure that this is in my future. For now, all I can say is that the Ballantine Silmarillion was based on an uncorrected printing of the Allen & Unwin/Houghton Mifflin hardcover text. I note in the Descriptive Bibliography that Ballantine continued most of the original errors, and I list eighteen of them.

Ballantine Books have never seemed to be overly concerned with the accuracy of their Tolkien books - they sell reasonably well regardless - and I doubt that there was any effort by Ballantine in 1979 to find a corrected copy-text, if they even knew that corrections needed to be made. Ballantine of course are just a tributary of the mainstream of Tolkien textual history, which is represented mainly by British editions. In 1979 Rayner Unwin was still in charge of Allen & Unwin/Unwin Books, had a close relationship with Christopher Tolkien, and was amenable to emendation, particularly as the paperback had to be reset.

Wayne

Posted on: 2010/11/18 20:30


Re: Silmarillion Question
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Thanks for both your replys. I was a little curious about the different printings and thought this was the appropriate venue to look for an answer. It's interesting that here in Canada I seem to run into both UK and NA versions of Tolkien's books.
Red

Posted on: 2010/11/19 21:00


Re: Silmarillion Question
Shirrif
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Red, speaking of UK & US editions (and avoiding the whole so-called Hb 'Canadian' (i.e. Export) edition), there is also an Unwin 1979 Pb (like the UK Pb), but printed in Canada...

BH

Posted on: 2010/11/20 15:31
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