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Letters from Father Christmas Deluxe Special Edition

Letters from Father Christmas Deluxe Special Edition

Oct 3 (edited)

Letters from Father Christmas Hardcover – Special Edition, 17 Oct 2019

This beautiful, deluxe slipcased edition of Tolkien’s famous illustrated letters from Father Christmas to his children includes for the first time every letter, picture and envelope that he sent them, reproduced in glorious colour. The perfect Christmas gift for Tolkien lovers of all ages.

This classic festive book of Tolkien’s amazing Father Christmas letters written to his children between the 1920s and the 1940s has been reworked into a sumptuous, new deluxe edition. It contains brand new high-quality digital reproductions of his wonderful letters and pictures, including a number them that have never been printed before, a revised introduction by Baillie Tolkien, and a special full-colour, foldout frontispiece.

‘My dear children, I am more shaky than usual this year. The North Polar Bear’s fault. It was the biggest bang in the world, and the most monstrous firework there has ever been. It turned the North Pole black!’

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J. R. R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in strange spidery handwriting and a beautiful coloured drawing or some sketches. The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole:
• How all the reindeer got loose and scattered presents all over the place.
• How the accident-prone Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house into the dining-room
• How he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden
• How there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house!

Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humour to the stories. From the first note to Tolkien’s eldest son in 1920 to the final poignant letter to his daughter in 1943, this book collects all the remarkable letters and pictures in one enchanting edition. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness of Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas.


I really like the design of this book, could be my favourite UK deluxe so far

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Letters-Fathe ... bf32489e54&language=en_GB

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Oct 18
To me that doesn't matter - my 60th anniversary boxed set of The Lord of the Rings (with the Reader's Companion) was printed in China (maybe Hong Kong...) and there's no issues with any of the books in terms of printing quality. (the only two errors is there's no comma in Gandalf's letter to Frodo, and 'The Book of Mazarbul' within the fold-out section isn't spelt correctly)
Oct 18

insurrbution wrote:
To me that doesn't matter - my 60th anniversary boxed set of The Lord of the Rings (with the Reader's Companion) was printed in China (maybe Hong Kong...) and there's no issues with any of the books in terms of printing quality. (the only two errors is there's no comma in Gandalf's letter to Frodo, and 'The Book of Mazarbul' within the fold-out section isn't spelt correctly)


I think that is why they removed the printer or country of printing.
Oct 18
Received mine today. Haven't actually opened it yet, but the omission of the printing information is surprising. I'm struggling to think of any books in my collection that don't have a stated printer & country of printing. Future bibliographers are going to love this move from HarperCollins! Not.
Oct 18

Trotter wrote:
Got my copy from Amazon today, I really like it.

The Fold Out section at the front shows all the facsimile stamps that Tolkien made for the letters.

Looks like HarperCollins have reacted to past criticism of the printers, by no longer stating who it is printed by or the country it was printed in.


I think we can safely take it as meaning it was printed in China.
Oct 18

insurrbution wrote:
To me that doesn't matter - my 60th anniversary boxed set of The Lord of the Rings (with the Reader's Companion) was printed in China (maybe Hong Kong...) and there's no issues with any of the books in terms of printing quality. (the only two errors is there's no comma in Gandalf's letter to Frodo, and 'The Book of Mazarbul' within the fold-out section isn't spelt correctly)


To me it matters for a whole host of reasons, not limited to the quality of the end product. For the most part, I do not buy any Chinese products unless there is no alternative (increasingly it is becoming difficult).
Oct 18

Khamûl wrote:
Received mine today. Haven't actually opened it yet, but the omission of the printing information is surprising. I'm struggling to think of any books in my collection that don't have a stated printer & country of printing. Future bibliographers are going to love this move from HarperCollins! Not.


I don't think the Catlin Hobbit states where it was printed (it was obviously China, due to the paper type).
Oct 20
It’s rather ridiculous isn’t it - omitting this information because they’re aware they’re using a substandard source and keen-eyed fans are specifically watching out for it?

Unless we’re wrong and they have some other genuine reasons for the omission, and the book is not printed in China after all.
Oct 20

Eorl wrote:
It’s rather ridiculous isn’t it - omitting this information because they’re aware they’re using a substandard source and keen-eyed fans are specifically watching out for it?

Unless we’re wrong and they have some other genuine reasons for the omission, and the book is not printed in China after all.


Unfortunately origin marking is voluntary (except for food) in the UK, but it is still a rather cynical approach to omit the information. I find it bizarre on a deluxe product. People pay for perceived quality. They would be better printing in the UK (or elsewhere in the EU and touting that as a selling point). That said, they have rather painted themselves into a corner with the garbage deluxe reprints, and they would have to stop producing those if they tried to make European quality a selling point. I imagine they are cheap-as-chips to produce, based on the shoddy quality (which is really no better than the average mass-market hardback, but in a slipcase).

With this particular edition, at least it probably plays to what appear to be one of the strengths of cheap Chinese printing -- glossy paper. This worked well enough on the Alan Lee LoTRs. Wouldn't pay anything close to the RRP for it, though, on principle.
Oct 21
Glossy paper... I’ve been thinking. Perhaps the cost of printing this book given its unique content (glossy colour printing right through) compared to the previous books, would have been exorbitant in Italy or the UK?

But wasn’t the Tolkien: Maker of Middle-earth hardback printed one the UK and that is a huge tome too?

So I wonder why HC would have been motivated to print these deluxe editions in China. 😐
Oct 21
I seriously do not see why this is even an issue - I have a few Tolkien titles printed there, and there is nothing wrong with them.

Weren't titles that have been printed somewhat recently that have had some defects printed in the UK and Italy?

(Printing errors with the 2016 facsimile Hobbit, assorted problems with the Hammond + Scull 2017 set, The History of Middle-earth deluxe edition...)
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