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Tolkien Collector's Guide
12

Increased Easton Press Offerings

May 12
2022/5/12 13:56:29 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

The Easton Press is an American based fine book binder and distributor who has been printing Tolkien titles since the mid 1980s. They had a licensing agreement with the former US Tolkien publisher Houghton Mifflin for most of that time to license the titles they wanted to offer and when that agreement ran out they would have to re-up on a new contract.

With recent move of American Tolkien publishing over to William Morrow Books through HarperCollins, one could speculate that Easton Press may be seeing the end of their time publishing Tolkien or at least seeing a change in what titles they can offer and when they can offer them. Easton Press publications are sturdy and hold up well to reading, which is why I have several of their titles. They are also odd in many ways, while they are all a dark green color, they don't all match (different covers, heights, etc...) and many of the binds strike me as a bit bland.

Very interested to hear what y'all think.

I have noticed over the last few months Easton Press have dramatically increased the number titles they are offering and I offer a short summary below. Notable titles not being offered (Nature of Middle-earth, Shaping of Middle-earth, The Lost Road, Art of the Hobbit, Beowulf, Sir Gawain, Letters of JRR Tolkien)

1. The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, & Silmarillion set
-Hobbit & Lord of the Rings volumes have a color frontispiece from Michael Hague. Same
set they have been offering since the 1980's. Includes foldout maps.
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2. The Fall of Gondolin
- Edited by Christopher Tolkien and published in 2018. Bound from sheets from the trade
hardback with Alan Lee's illustrations
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3. The Story of Kullervo
- Edited by Dr. Verlyn Flieger and published in 2016. Bound from sheets from the trade
hardback. They appear to not be offering this title much longer.
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4. The Books of Lost Tales, History of Middle-earth Vol. 1&2
-Edited by Christopher Tolkien and published in 1983-84. Both include illustrated
frontispieces as well. Sold together as a set.
5-12(4).jpg
5. Tales from the Perilous Realm
-Collection of short stories and lesser known Tolkien works. Published in 1997. Bound
from the sheets of the trade hardback edition with Alan Lee's sketches throughout. 5-12(5).jpg
6. The Lays of Beleriand
-Edited by Christopher Tolkien and published in 1985. History of Middle-earth Vol 3
Bound from a standard edition.
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7. Carpenter's Biography of JRR Tolkien
-The first and most known biography of Tolkien, written by Humphrey Carpenter. Bound
from a standard edition.
5-12(8).jpg
8. Foster's Complete Guide to Middle-earth
- Compiled by Robert Foster in the 1970's, the first reference guide to Tolkien's world.
Bound from the most up to date edition, not illustrated(that is until the '22 edition
comes out)
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9. Beren and Luthien
-Edited by Christopher Tolkien, published in 2015. Bound from sheets of the standard
edition with Alan Lee's illustrations included.
5-12(10).jpg
10. The Legend of Siguard and Gudrun
-Edited by Christopher Tolkien, published in 2009. Tolkien's working with the Norse
legends. Bound from sheets of the standard trade edition.
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11. Morgoth's Ring & War of the Jewels, History of Middle-earth Vol. 10&11
-Edited by Christopher Tolkien, published in 1993 & 1994. Sold as a set and bound from
standard sheets.
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12. The Art of the Lord of the Rings
-Edited by Hammond & Scull, published in 2015. A collection of much of Tolkien's
drawings and artwork from the writing of the Lord of the Rings. Bound from the
standard trade edition.
5-12(13).jpg
13. The Worlds of JRR Tolkien
-By John Garth, published in 2021. An illustrated treatise on places that likely inspired
Tolkien throughout his life. Bound from the standard edition.
5-12(14).jpg
14. The Fall of Arthur
-Edited by Christopher Tolkien , published in 2013. Tolkien's unfinished attempt to craft
an Arthur legend and re-work some of the characters. Bound from standard trade
sheets. An older red Easton Press version exists.
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15. The Lay of Aotrou & Itroun
-Edited by Dr. Verlyn Flieger, published in 2016. A 506 line poem written by Tolkien in
1930, and originally published in 1945. Bound from the sheets of the trade edition.
5-12(16).jpg
16. The History of the Lord of the Rings
-Editied by Christopher Tolkien, published from 1988-1992, History of Middle-earth Vol
6-9. This is the American publication that is missing Sauron Defeated, which is
replaced with The End of the Third Age, a shortened version.
5-12(17(.jpg
17. The Letters of Father Christmas
-Edited by Baillie Tolkien, published in 2020. Bound from sheets of the Centenary
edition, this is the 2nd version of Letters of Father Xmas Easton Press has offered.
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18. Unfinished Tales
-Edited by Christopher Tolkien, published in 1980. Bound from sheets from the standard
hardback edition, with a colored frontispiece, matching the format of the BoLT
volumes.
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19. The Children of Hurin
-Edited by Christopher Tolkien, published in 2007. Bound from sheets of the standard
hardback edition with Alan Lee's illustrations throughout. Includes a foldout map.
5-12(6).jpg
May 12
2022/5/12 14:14:14 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
I ordered 'Beren and Luthien' 6 weeks ago and upon enquiering lack of shipping updates was told its out of stock and will be made available again from July and shipped then unless i wanted a refund. My guess is they will be available from EP a while longer at least.
May 12
2022/5/12 14:34:06 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
The History of The Lord of the Rings being presented with the second section of volume 9 is a bit strange. I assume that in time they will produce the missing volumes, and anyone who collects these and somehow does not have other editions from HarperCollins etc, will not have a full set of The History of Middle-earth and a scattering of references in Vols. 10-12 will be missing from Vol. 9. They will read those volumes and not be able to reference a few mentions about the second section of it.
May 12 (edited)
2022/5/12 20:34:23 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Worth saying the current print of FCL is just trade sheets printed by RR Donnelly in China. Edit: Appears they did a Chinese print and then the most recent is Rotolito.

With regards to "Fall of Arthur" - "Bound from standard trade sheets. An older red Easton Press version exists" - The older red edition is definitely not bound from standard trade sheets. Same goes for some of the others, such as Tales from the Perilous Realm or S&G. Is this really meant to say something along the lines of "the page content is based on the standard US trade edition"?

The Tolkien books they offer come in and out as and when they reprint and they don't show out of print on the website. I think pretty much everything has been reprinted at least once at this point, even things they said they wouldn't/couldn't (e.g. Complete Guide). Their reprint frequency for Tolkien seems to have increased a lot of late.

The Blue Beowulf was probably their nicest Tolkien binding as they managed to almost do away with all the filigree.
May 12 (edited)
2022/5/12 20:41:30 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

The History of The Lord of the Rings being presented with the second section of volume 9 is a bit strange. I assume that in time they will produce the missing volumes, and anyone who collects these and somehow does not have other editions from HarperCollins etc, will not have a full set of The History of Middle-earth and a scattering of references in Vols. 10-12 will be missing from Vol. 9. They will read those volumes and not be able to reference a few mentions about the second section of it.

They have produced everything except the second half of Sauron Defeated. A right mixed bag of styles and sizes in the bindings though. You would be hard pushed to find a more mismatching set.

Pictures of some/all over on LT https://www.librarything.com/topic/297471#n7835509
May 12
2022/5/12 21:07:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

They have produced everything except the second half of Sauron Defeated. A right mixed bag of styles and sizes in the bindings though. You would be hard pushed to find a more mismatching set.

Pictures of some/all over on LT https://www.librarything.com/topic/297471#n7835509

Blinkin Nora that lot is hideous
May 12
2022/5/12 21:11:13 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

onthetrail wrote:

Stu wrote:

They have produced everything except the second half of Sauron Defeated. A right mixed bag of styles and sizes in the bindings though. You would be hard pushed to find a more mismatching set.

Pictures of some/all over on LT https://www.librarything.com/topic/297471#n7835509

Blinkin Nora that lot is hideous

Yeah, they have a very dedicated fanbase that seems to like their "unique style" of binding and they don't deviate from it much. It is a shame as they are really solid books, just with aesthetics that range from barely tolerable to horrendous.
May 12
2022/5/12 21:14:24 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Stu wrote:

Worth saying the current print of FCL is just trade sheets printed by RR Donnelly in China.

How current? I got my copy of Easton Press FCL in December and it has the Houghton Mifflin sheets printed by Rotolito in Italy.
May 12 (edited)
2022/5/12 21:32:18 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Urulókë wrote:

Stu wrote:

Worth saying the current print of FCL is just trade sheets printed by RR Donnelly in China.

How current? I got my copy of Easton Press FCL in December and it has the Houghton Mifflin sheets printed by Rotolito in Italy.

The most recent (this year - current stock). Think it had a third print. I'm going on what was posted online by someone who recently purchased a copy. I haven't bought any EP myself since Beowulf.

Actually, did some digging, the post about FCL was from 2019, so looks like they did a print using Chinese sheets and then yours is more recent -


inside book says ... "Printed and bound in China by RR Donnelley APS"

"And the pages are very "plasticy-slick". Looks like a nice book ... I think $111 is a bit pricy for it. Assume paying a premium for the nicer cover ... but otherwise I would think the BN/Amazon version for $17 would be exactly the same (minus the nice leather cover)."
May 12
2022/5/12 23:40:31 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Here are the copyright pages for TFPR and S&G that I purchased in the Fall.

I recently ordered FoA so, I’ll let y’all know what that looks like.

5058_627d9a9e9b25b.jpeg 4032X3024 px

5058_627d9a9e9c3e7.jpeg 4032X3024 px
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