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UK first edition title page question.

UK first edition title page question.

Jan 9

Ok so the UK first editions of The Lord of the Rings on the Title page it says George Allen and Unwin and just the UK office address and then on some it says in bold George Allen and Unwin and underneath has Houghton Mifflin and their address in Boston. This is quite random I've seen 2 impressions of the same book with this. See pics.......both photos are from a uk 11th impression UK 1st edition Return of the king, both have the same jackets and price etc but why do they have this difference?

Thanks :)

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4844_5c363098d954c.jpg 1186X1600 px
Jan 9
The US publisher Houghton Mifflin imported the sheets from George Allen & Unwin for the first edition. I assume that at some point GA&U started adding their name to the title page, but don't have a reference in front of me that discusses when this happened - The Tolkien Collector probably has an article about it Findegil?

If you do have two eleventh impressions, that would imply to me that this is when GA&U added the Houghton Mifflin information.
Jan 9
Thank you, what puzzles me is that I have seen it on earlier copies...I think. However it changes back to just Allen and Unwin for the revised 2nd edition then re appears on the 1st Edition Export Silmarillion.
Jan 9
The second edition copies of LOTR were published separately - Houghton Mifflin typeset and printed their own sheets with their logo, and GA&U did theirs with just the London info.

For The Silmarillion HM also printed their own sheets, but I note that the GA&U editions all say "London | Boston | Sydney" on the title page. There shouldn't be any mention of Houghton Mifflin - maybe the Boston mention is what you are thinking of?

Anyone know the history of why/when GA&U added the "Boston" slug to their title pages? I think The Silmarillion is the first time it shows up on a Tolkien book.
Jan 9
Yes, you're right. So would that mean some copies of the US first editions carry the same info? Wow where do you find this out????
Jan 9
Wayne Hammond's J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography is an indispensable resource!

https://www.tolkienguide.com/modules/w ... escriptive%20Bibliography
Jan 9
That's interesting... paulies1066 can you confirm that both are definitely 11th impressions of the Allen & Unwin Return of the King (red binding) please? I believe you, just want to make sure if ya don't mind.

So the 11th impression was when the U.S. stopped importing sheets and unlike the 10th U.S. impression, Houghton Mifflin's 11th title page does not mention A&U. The 7th-10th U.S. impressions (1961-1963) are the printings that show both publisher names. (Some, but not much, info here; the relevant Tolkien Collector issue is #22.)

I guess it wouldn't be too surprising to see a change in the 11th U.K. impression since it was printed in five batches over the course of two years (TolkienBooks.net). I suppose A&U, after at least the first print run, didn't realize that they no longer needed both names since Houghton Mifflin wasn't importing anymore.
Jan 9
Hi, yes just checked and I've been scouring the shire, I mean ebay :)
for confirmation and lo and behold I found a 10th

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Jan 9
That makes sense as the 10th was 1963
Jan 9

paulies1066 wrote:
That makes sense as the 10th was 1963


Thanks! Yeah, the dual imprint began with the 6th U.K. impression.
Jan 9
The publisher's records at Reading University suggest that there shouldn't be any variation in the 11th impression of RK. It was printed in a single run late in 1964 and bound in batches over the following year and a bit. That said, there is a note that indicates that a couple of advanced copies were marked "10th impression" in error. These were returned to the printer for correction.

The dual A&U/HM imprint was used in the early part of the 1960s to simply the process of HM buying copies of the books from the UK. Prior to that, separate title pages had to be printed which sometimes resulted in errors. It also required books to be "converted" from A&U to HM copies if HM needed stock but A&U weren't ready to reprint - A&U title pages had to be cut out and HM pages pasted in which was an additiona cost and delay.
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