Tolkien Collector's Guide

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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Beyond Bree 2019 Calendar available for pre-order

Jul 26 - By Urulöké

Calendar collectors, art fans, and more - Now is the time to get your order in for the special 2019 Beyond Bree calendar - the 10th from editor Daniel Smith. As all of the earlier calendars from his run as editor have sold out, this is your opportunity to get a deluxe calendar with fan favorite art in full color.

BB Calendar 2019 colour flyer.jpg

Beyond Bree is delighted to celebrate its tenth colour calendar, featuring fan selected imagery from the past, in a deluxe version for 2019. If you missed collecting the earlier calendars, this is your chance to enjoy some wonderful interpretations of JRR Tolkien’s Middle-earth! There are also some new renditions of past works to give long time collectors new versions of old favorites.

The color and black and white calendar will be 11 x 8 ½ inches, opening to 11 x 17 inches. It will have both Middle-earth and real world dates.

Pricing: $20 plus shipping - USA $2.00, the rest of the world $5.00.
For large orders, please inquire for details.

For PayPal orders please add $1.00. When using PayPal, log onto your account and enter your payment amount by using the “Pay or Send Money” button. Make payments in US Dollars by entering the Beyond Bree e-mail address and $21 plus your shipping fee of either $2 or $5.

Send check or postal money order
(in USD drawn on a US bank) to:
Nancy Martsch, PO Box 55372
Sherman Oaks, CA 91413, USA
You may send US currency, at your
own risk, in a sturdy envelope.

For more information please e-mail:
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Third edition of The Annotated Hobbit - 2019

Jul 16 - By Urulöké

Amazon has listed a new entry for the forthcoming third edition of The Annotated Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien and Douglas A. Anderson.

Revised for the thirtieth anniversary of publication, Douglas A. Anderson has drawn on new sources of criticism and newly discovered writings by Tolkien himself to ensure that The Annotated Hobbit is the definitive explication of the sources, characters, places, and things of J.R.R. Tolkien's timeless classic. Integrated with Anderson's notes and placed alongside the fully restored and corrected text of the original story are more than 150 illustrations showing visual interpretations of The Hobbit specific to many of the cultures that have come to know and love Tolkien's Middle-earth. Tolkien's original line drawings, maps, and color paintings are also included, making this the most lavishly informative edition of The Hobbit available.

No cover art is available yet - I am reaching out to Houghton Mifflin for more information and will share when available. I am assuming there will be a UK edition as well.

Hardcover: 416 pages
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (March 19, 2019)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1328497593
ISBN-13: 978-1328497598
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Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth - Morgan Library & Museum

Jul 11 - By Trotter

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth

The exhibition dates are January 25 through May 12, 2019.

“In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit.” With these words the Oxford professor J.R.R. Tolkien ignited a fervid spark in generations of readers. From the children’s classic The Hobbit to the epic The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien’s adventurous tales of hobbits and elves, dwarves and wizards have introduced millions to the rich history of Middle-earth. Going beyond literature, Tolkien’s Middle-earth is a world complete with its own languages and histories. Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth celebrates the man and his creation. The exhibition will be the most extensive public display of original Tolkien material for several generations. Drawn from the collections of the Tolkien Archive at the Bodleian Library (Oxford), Marquette University Libraries (Milwaukee), the Morgan, and private lenders, the exhibition will include family photographs and memorabilia, Tolkien’s original illustrations, maps, draft manuscripts, and designs related to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and The Silmarillion.

Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth is organized by the Morgan Library & Museum in collaboration with the Bodleian Libraries, Oxford University and with the support of The Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust and members of the Tolkien family.

The Morgan exhibition is made possible through the generosity of Fay and Geoffrey Elliott.
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1957 'Carnival of Books' interview acetate

Jul 9 - By

Seller: oxfam_f3706_oxford (511)
Ended Jul 1, 2018
[3 Bids]
I was wondering if anyone else saw this pop up on eBay; one of the earliest audio interviews (or the earliest?) of Tolkien from a 1957 radio show in Chicago. There's a smattering of info/quotes from it here and there (H&S Chron. p 527, RG p514, 516; Annot. Hobbit p8, 210; ALA Bulletin, Feb 1957, p120, etc.) but I'm curious if there are other audio copies floating around (not including the 'tape recording' stored at the Library of Congress). Oxfam was selling it on eBay and in response to my question they surmised that, "perhaps only one acetate set was made at the recording session and that either that or a copy was used for the US broadcast." Does anyone here have additional info about this they'd be willing to share?

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