Tolkien Collector's Guide

Oxford University Press Museum

21 hours ago - By Urulöké

I thought you all would enjoy this small exhibit currently on display at the Oxford University Press Museum - with many thanks to the person who works there and allowed me to share the pic. Much appreciated!

Tolkien's handwritten dictionary slip for the etymology of 'walnut' when he worked for the OUP circa 1919.

walnut oxford dictionary handwritten.jpg
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Tolkien Society digitizes Amon Hen and Mallorn for members

Yesterday - By Urulöké

Amon Hen 273.jpg

A bit late in posting this announcement from the Tolkien Society, but it is wonderful news and well worth sharing at any time.

The Tolkien Society now offers digital PDF copies of most copies of Amon Hen, all issues of Mallorn, and Anduril #1 for download from their website to all Society members. At £30 for a one year membership (£10 if you are a student) this is a wonderful opportunity to see such a large archive of Tolkien Society publications.

Amon Hen issues 35-273 (not available are 1-34, 43 and 129; 171, 183 and 184 are temporarily not downloadable due to a technical glitch).

Mallorn 1-58 (including the massive and important issue #33 - Proceedings of the J.R.R. Tolkien Centenary Conference 1992)

Anduril #1 (April 1972 issue)

The Tolkien Society website
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Letters from Father Christmas Deluxe Edition in planning stages

Sep 22 - By Urulöké

In the past few days, has started showing that a new edition of Letters from Father Christmas is planned for release on September 19, 2019 - one year from now. The details are of course quite sparse and contradictory (the listing says it is both a paperback and a deluxe slipcased edition) so I asked HarperCollins if there was any news they could share. The response I received was
It’s true - FCL is joining our range of uniform deluxe editions.

We will have to wait for more information, but hopefully the art reproductions will get the deluxe treatment and we can enjoy adding this to our collections!

Info (subject to correction of course):
Letters from Father Christmas
Deluxe Slipcased edition
192 pages
Planned release date: 19 Sept. 2019
ISBN-10: 0008327726
ISBN-13: 978-0008327729

(Thanks to Jeff Hawboldt for pointing me to the Amazon listing!)
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Signed 1969 Bible paper Lord of the Rings

Sep 11 - By Trotter

TOLKIEN, J R R: THE LORD OF THE RINGS. London, George Allen and Unwin, 1969, First India Paper Edition. Signed by J.R.R.Tokien. Sold for £6,150 inc buyers premium.

Very nice provenance on this item, which you can see in the auction listing ... lse&sd=0&pp=25&pn=1&g=-1#

1969 Signature.JPG
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Ace Lord of the Rings book covers

Jul 28 - By Urulöké

Ace Lord of the Rings covers.jpg

In May of 1965 Ace Books published what are now considered the "pirate edition" of The Lord of the Rings, in three paperback volumes priced at 75¢ each. For a full background and discussion of the Ace Books Controversy, see Scull and Hammond's The J.R.R. Tolkien Companion and Guide - Reader's Guide Part 1, pp. 1-8. My particular focus here is on the cover art that was used on the three volumes, as I recently ran across some fun information to share.

The three covers (and title page illustrations) were produced by Jack Gaughan (wikipedia article here) who frequently made cover art for Ace books from various authors. There is a brief mention of Gaughan in the Companion and Guide - Reader's Guide Part 1 on p. 563 in the Illustration section, where it only says "Gaughan's pictures are comparatively true to the story (or perhaps one should say, they deviate from it less)" when comparing them to Barbara Remington's art for the "authorized editions" from Ballantine that were released a few months after the Ace editions.

It has been well known that Barbara Remington was rushed to paint her covers without even having time to read the books (see her interview speaking of this here: Connecting with History - An Interview with Barbara Remington). What interested me (and prompted this quick post) was that Jack Gaughan was under similar pressure, and had a similar apology to fans for his cover art, but the tidbit I ran across yesterday differs from what is reported in Hammond's Bibliography.

In the section "Bumbejimas" (editorial natterings) by Ed Meskys in Niekas #12 (15 Jun 1965) Ed says on pp. 77-78

...all have covers by Jack Gaughan. I was bothered by one for it showed the Nazgul riding bat-winged Pegeses while Tolkien himself described them as monsters left over from a previous age and having long snake-like necks. Most fan-artists have interpreted these as impossibly large Pterodactyls.
(It is also interesting to note that Ed mentions only having seen a proof copy of Return of the King at this point, so it is possible that The Two Towers was published before June 15th 1965).

In a letter to the editor in Niekas #13 (15 Sep 1965), Jack Gaughan writes back and says

Dear Ed,
So as to keep the record straight -- the error (flying horse instead of pterodactyl) on the Two Towers cover is mine alone. I had to read the last two books of the trilogy and lay out the covers under the pressure of a short deadline -- as a result I could not read them carefully (which I try to do, usually) -- by the time the error was discovered it was too late to change the thing. My apologies to Tolkien people!

In J.R.R. Tolkien A Descriptive Bibliography, Hammond says

Jack Gaughan is said to have painted all three covers for the Ace LR in a single weekend. He did not have time to read the book, but was 'talked through' his art by fantasy writer and critic Lin Carter. The runes in the background of his paintings for LR have no meaning.

Given Jack's letter in Niekas, it seems likely that he was not pressured for Fellowship, but then with the controversy and time pressure once the first book was published, both he (Jack) and Barbara Remington were significantly rushed to get their respective books out within a few short months and all of the artwork was rushed and not based on close reading of the text.

* Hammond A5c i - iii pp. 102-105 (Ace editions). FR published May 1965, TT and RT say "July?"
* Hammond A5d i-iii (Ballantine revised editions) pp. 105-120. All published Oct 1965
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