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Re: eBay: "J.R.R. Tolkien 1st LORD OF THE RINGS EXCLUSIVELY BOUND!"
Home away from home
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2008/5/21 19:36
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We agree that this is almost certainly a one-off binding. There's no evidence, in the Tolkien-Allen & Unwin correspondence or anywhere else we've seen, of copies of the one-volume paperback being specially bound for members of the Tolkien family and friends. This seems to be an assumption by Mr. Giusti, blown up further by the present seller and compounding an error by whoever wrote "as issued" in the Current Company memo.

Would Allen & Unwin really have put a fancy binding on a cheap paperback? Would the publisher have instructed the binder unnecessarily to letter "Parts 1 2 & 3" on the spine? Would a special copy not have been signed by the author? Would Tolkien have wanted to present to family and friends a Lord of the Rings lacking the complete Appendices?

Of course there was already a specially bound (genuinely as issued) three-volume Lord of the Rings published in 1964, and the India paper edition, replacing the 1964 de luxe, came along in 1969 -- Tolkien inscribed an India paper copy to his cousin Dorothy Wood. The earliest special binding (for presentation) of a Tolkien work of which we're aware is the one in blue leather for The Silmarillion.

I'm pretty sure some 50th Aniversary editions of LotRs (standard or deluxe --I don't recall) were bound in full leather for a select few i.e. Wayne & Christina, Christopher, & perhaps various other folk involved in the publication.

Yes, there were some copies of the 2004 one-volume edition bound in red leather for presentation, and as its editors we have one.

We're on FlatSigned's e-mail advertising list, and the other day received a message offering for sale a set of The Lord of the Rings, first edition but later printings of the three volumes. These were described as "UK Urwin Allen Published". This will amuse only those who remember Irwin Allen's science-fiction TV series and disaster movies.

Wayne and Christina

Posted on: 2010/6/12 19:29



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