Tolkien - Voyage en Terre du Milieu (French Edition)
TolkienGuide is an affiliate
Tolkien Collector's Guide

Back to Auctions Home

Seller: firstandfine
100.0% positive
Birmingham, GB
Ended Apr 15, 2021 11:18:58 AM
Category: Books, Comics & Magazines:Antiquarian & Collectable
Viewed 429 times
Condition: near fine
John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1954-55) ‘The Lord of the Rings‘, UK first edition, first printing set, published by George Allen & Unwin. Beautifully rebound in full black leather. In addition, an original handwritten and signed Tolkien letter. The letter: one page, 8vo (176 x 135mm.), on cream-coloured Sandfield Road headed notepaper, one central fold presumably to fit an envelope, some creases and light spotting, Headington, Oxford, 15 August 1964. A response to a questionnaire which Potts sent Tolkien. The master of fantasy responds in the most eloquent way to basically say to get lost: “Dear Mr Potts I think you are asking too much of a busy man. Most of your questions are in any case unanswerable, by me, and some impertient. You may put me down as an odd character, for personally I do not believe that any valuable truths or insights are discoverable by such questionnairs. Yours sincerely JRR Tolkien.” Richard Potts sent Tolkien a questionnaire whilst working on his dissertation on children’s literature, hoping that the bestselling author would shed some light on his craft. A copy of the questions that caused so much ire does not survive but Potts remembers “I was taken back by his letter. It was not what I had expected. I had asked a number of questions, how and when he wrote, what was the source of his writing. I greatly admired his work but found the length daunting. I may have made reference to this reservation and it was perhaps this that prompted the angry tone of his letter”. Potts went on to be a successful children’s author in his own right, with titles such as A Boy and his Bike, Haunted Mine and Tod’s Owl. A great letter revealing a little bit of Tolkien’s character and how protective he became when his work was criticised. Tolkien received a ton of fan mail during his lifetime and many complained that LOTR was too short. Tolkien himslef wrote in an introduction to a later edition of LOTR that it was NOT an allegory of anything and that his only regret was that it was too short. Therefore, it is not surprising that Potts hit a nerve there which prompted such a response. Tolkien would have probably not wasted his ink had he known that any of his letters and signatures would fetch an enormous amount of money. The books: A complete set of ‘The Lord of the Rings’, all true UK first editions, and first impressions published by George Allen & Unwin, comprised of: – The Fellowship of the Ring – The Two Towers – The Return of the Ring All three volumes bear a ‘4’ at the bottom of page 49 as shown. All original maps at the back are present as called for. Beautifully rebound in full black Nigerian goatskin. Five raised bands to the spine. All three page block edges gilded. Embossed and gilded are the corresponding titles and author on the spines. Each front panel also bears Sauron’s eye surrounded by elvish runes and the Ring – a design developed by Tolkien himslef which also graces the front panels of the original dust jackets. Marbled endpapersas shown. Condition: presented in near fine condition. There are no previous owners’ names, no stamps, no inscriptions, nor grafitti of any sorts. Fellowhsip of the Rings has a little foxing/ ageing on the half title and a few spots on a few pages, but nothing major. A very nice set of perhaps the best achievement of modern fantasy writing to date. Generations have enjoyed reading the adventure of the fellowship in its many translations. It has had a colossal influence on the genre. It was also adapted into the monumental three films by Peter Jackson. First and Fine
Submitted by: Trotter
Jump to Last