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"A Middle English Vocabulary" scam?
Home away from home
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I just came from reading the new post on Tolkien Library concerning a pirate reprint of A Middle English Vocabulary.

A middle English vocabulary by J R.R. 1892-1973 Tolkien?

It's sad news indeed!

Beren mentions that the original book was published in 1923 - does this actually make the book a part of the "public domain" (at least in some countries)? Could we therefore hope for better reprints? (Unfortunately, not everyone has the money to buy the original!)

Posted on: 2011/1/20 5:55

Edited by Trotter on 2011/1/20 10:46:41
Edited by Trotter on 2011/1/20 11:33:48


Re: "A Middle English Vocabulary" scam
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Used copies of Sisam's Fourteenth Century Verse and Prose containing Tolkien's Vocabulary can be had for a song, much cheaper and much more attractive than these modern photocopied "reprints".

Posted on: 2011/1/20 7:03


Re: "A Middle English Vocabulary" scam
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You can even get it of for free as a PDF and you can search it.

http://www.archive.org/details/middleenglishvoc00tolkuoft

Reading Beren's article I would not be surprised if the printed book he mentions is from this copy.

Morgan wrote
I just came from reading the new post on Tolkien Library concerning a pirate reprint of A Middle English Vocabulary


I think this book is out of copyright so cannot be described as a pirate reprint, so it is not a scam, just a very poor and expensive copy of the book (which you can get for free).

Posted on: 2011/1/20 10:45

Edited by Trotter on 2011/1/20 11:14:42
Edited by Trotter on 2011/1/20 11:15:23
Edited by Trotter on 2011/1/20 11:31:13


Re: "A Middle English Vocabulary" scam
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Thank you Trotter and Aelfwine for the clarifications and suggestions.

So, if I understand the situation correctly, the copyright of the original publication has expired. Would this then mean that the work can be reprinted in whatever way and by whoever, without the approval of the Tolkien Estate/Tolkien Trust?

If this is the case, then why do the publishers market the book as written by "J R. R. 1892-1973 Tolkien" - just out of ignorance? Or is it a strange attempt to elude legal actions?

In any case, IMO it would be nice, as Beren states on Tolkien Library, to see a "proper" reprint, using the original cover. While I see the great value of free pdfs, I don't trust that everything is rendered 100% correct in such copies (e.g., diacritics are often missing). (edit: I saw that the link Trotter provided also included a scan of the whole publication)

Posted on: 2011/1/20 12:06

Edited by Morgan on 2011/1/20 12:16:34
Edited by Morgan on 2011/1/20 12:43:49






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