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1st Issue of Unfinished Tales
From Essex, England
I was looking at this item on Ebay
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Tolkien-J-R-R-U ... 20045QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem
and wonder whether the description is accurate.
"Published in London: George Allen & Unwin. ., 1980. 1st edition, (export edition), 1st state of text. Octavo, original reddish-brown cloth titled in gilt on spine panel.472 pp, index, folding map at rear.
The correct 1st issue, done for export, with no price on the dust wrapper flap. Unrecorded state with the text on page 234 printed inaccurately, with the first part of each letter on the left-hand side of the text missing.
The dust wrapper also differs in that this issue has no blue shading on the spine, and front flap. This issue is not mentioned in Hammond & Anderson's extensive bibliography of Tolkien, and as the printing on page 234 is an error and the dust wrapper is unfinished - the blue colouring is completly left out of the spine- this issue may be assumed to be the 1st state. A very good copy in a very good dust wrapper. A choice copy of a rare book. "
I know that all copies of this book had no price on the dust-wrapper, my copy has a A&U Price Sticker for £7.50 so there is no evidence that this is a special export copy and I also know that Deagol mentions the text on page 234 and the blue colour problem with the dust-wrapper on his site http://www.tolkienbooks.net/html/unfinished_tales_0.htm
So is there any evidence that this is the correct 1st issue, or could this be a pre-release issue?
Posted on: 2006/8/13 1:25
Re: 1st Issue of Unfinished Tales
Home away from home
The ebay copy appears to have blue on the upper cover, so I'm inclined to think that the spine is just faded.
When I compiled the page at tolkienbooks.net I was careful to be uncommital about which variants would be the earliest. I think that the clipping of the text on page 234 may well be down to something becoming misaligned during the printing process then being corrected again - so it may not be as simple as 1st state/2nd state. You would need to find a proof or advance reading copy to be sure what the true first state is. Has anybody ever seen one for UT?
The jacket is even more contentious. I am not at all convinced that this is a real variant. I think that it is quite possible that it may be just a result of the fading of the blue ink - even on the front flap.
Posted on: 2006/8/13 4:08
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