Tolkien Collector's Guide

Want to support us? Use our affiliate links for buying books:

Winner of the 2019 Tolkien Society award for Best Website

By Hunter
Just popping in

Help with USA Fellowship Book 1965

Jan 10 (edited)
2020/1/10 20:31:51 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia

Hi everyone,
I recently acquired a gorgeous USA edition of 'The Fellowship of the Ring'

I also have in my possession a copy of the same kind of 'The Return of the King'

What I'm puzzled over is;
The dating and impressions list on ROTK is very standard, a list of impressions and dates.
Whereas the copy of FOTR is something I havnt seen before.

Instead of listing from the centered top of the page going down, the list of impressions and dates - it simply says at the bottom of the page 'Fourteenth Printing'

Attached are photos and hopefully it's obvious which one is which.

My question is, why are they different?
Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks,

4968_5e18df371b900.jpg 1960X4032 px

4968_5e18df371c9e2.jpg 1960X4032 px
Jan 10
2020/1/10 20:33:19 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Having JUST posted this and giving it a quick scan I've immediately noticed the ROTK is printed in GB!
Is this the only reason why?

Jan 10 (edited)
2020/1/10 20:57:17 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Hi, and welcome Hunter!

The printing history of the first American editions of The Lord of the Rings is complex. The short version is that early impressions were printed in GB and imported to the USA, and the title page (and verso with copyright info) was replaced with a US version, and not with any consistent pattern of information. Later impressions were printed in the USA, which is what you have for the FOTR 14th impression.

For a more detailed dive in, see some or all of the following:
Wayne Hammond's J.R.R. Tolkien, a Descriptive Bibliography ... llowship-of-the-ring-1954 ... e-return-of-the-king-1956

The Tolkien Collector issues #20-22 (hard to find, admittedly as they are out of print)

Glad to have you here!
Jan 10
2020/1/10 22:37:52 (GMT) Greenwich Mean Time, London, Dublin, Lisbon, Casablanca, Monrovia
Good evening,

Thank you for such a great comprehensive reply!

That clears that up certainly.. I look forward to sharing what I have to share and talking more with you :)

Many thanks
Jump to Last