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Mithadan
10-03-2000, 06:59 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 143</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
A bit of advice from a non-expert. There is a rapidly developing market for first editions of JRRT's works. Even the Silm., UT, and HoME volumes seem to generate higher bids on the auction sites if they are listed as &quot;first editions&quot;. A word of warning. There are first editions and there are FIRST EDITIONS.

To a collector, a book is not a first edition if it is not also the first printing. To clarify, all of a particular book that are printed before an actual revision to the text occurs are &quot;first editions&quot;. However, the original type for a book wears out as the book is produced and the type is replaced, sometimes with errors, or, alternatively, errors are corrected without the edition changing. A true first printing is done with the original type (usually). A first edition may be printed over many printings over many years (the first edition of the Hobbit was printed for about 30 years even though it was revised around 1955 to change the story of Gollum offering the ring to Bilbo as a present to the current version). I think that the Sil. was printed as a first edition until last year (or maybe this year).

Different publishers indicate a first printing in different ways. Some just say first edition with nothing else until the printing changes. Others state &quot;first printing&quot;. A succesion of numbers is sometimes used to indicate the printing (&quot;11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2&quot; may be a second printing). However, some publishers add a letter when the printing exceeds 10 (&quot;C 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1&quot; might mean 31st printing). There is no international standard for showing what printing a book is, so if you decide you want to collect first editions of anything, you need to figure out how the publisher indicates a first printing. Otherwise, the &quot;first edition&quot; Silmarillion that you pay $30.00 for may turn out to have been printed in 1998.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000004>Mithadan</A> at: 10/3/00 10:19:21 am

Mister Underhill
10-04-2000, 09:19 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 75</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: First Editions

Mithadan, do you have a first edition LotR? You seem quite knowledgable on the subject. I am trying to figure out if the appendices in Return of the King were present in the first edition or if they were added later. Anybody?

</p>

Mithadan
10-04-2000, 09:35 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 153</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: First Editions

I do not have a First Edition LoTR (although I do have a first ed. 4th printing of the Hobbit, containing the &quot;original&quot; Gollum story), but, as I understand it, the appendices were not in the true first edition. They either came in during the second printing or the second edition in 1965, I don't recall which. But I may be mistaken.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

Mister Underhill
10-04-2000, 09:53 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 77</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: First Editions

I suspect your right. The tone of the foreword of the edition I'm looking at suggests he added the appendices after the initial printing. Can anyone else confirm this? Where's Saulotus when you need him?

</p>

Mithadan
10-05-2000, 07:56 AM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 159</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: First Editions

I may be wrong on the absence of the appendices. Looked at Letters and found a reference to corrections being made prior to the date of publication of Return of the King. Also, check out LoTR Collector's Site, which describes the first editions of LoTR and how they can, to an extent, be identified. It makes no reference to the abscence of a appendix. www.tolkien.nu/collectors/bibliography.htm. Another less informational bibliography is at www.forodrim.org/arda/tbchron.html. Do you think you have found a first ed.?

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>Edited by: <A HREF=http://www.barrowdowns.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_profile&u=00000004>Mithadan</A> at: 10/5/00 9:57:41 am

Mister Underhill
10-05-2000, 12:24 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Haunting Spirit
Posts: 78</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: First Editions

Boy, thanks for the help, Mithadan. Tolkien-ites are such nice people!

No, unfortunately, I'm not eyeing a prospective first edition buy. More like research on an article Kittle has invited me to write -- a counterpoint on &quot;The Olog-hai Question&quot; (see the &quot;Who knows their trolls?&quot; thread if you have an evening to burn). I'm trying to find out if the Appendix F ref to them is original material or maybe something the prof added later after he got letters asking, &quot;Hey, I thought trolls couldn't stand the sun!&quot; Or words to that effect. It's a big help to know (almost) for certain that the ref is original material. My UT is buried in storage somewhere, unfortunately, but I seem to remember some note in there, too, about Tolkien saying he wished he hadn't promised Appendices, because the slim amount of room he'd be able to spend on them wouldn't be enough to satisfy anyone, especially himself, but I wasn't sure if this was in reference to a revised edition or if it was sometime after &quot;Fellowship&quot; and &quot;Two Towers&quot; were out but before &quot;Return&quot; had been published.

</p>

Mithadan
10-05-2000, 12:41 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Wight
Posts: 162</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: First Editions

Good luck. You might want to e-mail the guy who maintains the LoTR Collectors site and ask him. There's a link on that page for e-mail.

--Mithadan--
"The Silmarils with living light
were kindled clear, and waxing bright
shone like stars that in the North
above the reek of earth leap forth." </p>

burrahobbit
10-05-2000, 02:48 PM
<font face="Verdana"><table><TR><TD><FONT SIZE="1" face="Verdana, Helvetica, sans-serif">Hidden Spirit
Posts: 466</TD><TD></TD></TR></TABLE>
Re: First Editions

That was the 1600th post in The Books.

What's a burrahobbit got to do with my pocket, anyways?</p>

Mithadan
10-15-2001, 08:14 AM
Since there appears to be some slight interest in this topic, I'm bringing this thread back up to the top.

The Squatter of Amon Rūdh
09-19-2006, 07:14 AM
Since I do own a first edition set, I'll add a couple of pointers.

My set (late impressions from the early 1960s) include the earlier appendices, but not the index or the sections on languages and calendars. These were added to the Second Edition, and, I think, to some of the American editions published between the British revisions. Tolkien simply hadn't completed them by the time he and his publishers decided to release RotK.

Just in case someone does think they've got hold of a first edition, here's a very brief description.

The first edition was printed by George Allan and Unwin in the U.K. in three hardback volumes, bound in red cloth. The dust-jackets are a pale cream in colour, with a design in the centre of the front cover depicting a ring with a red eye glaring through it, and the One Ring's inscription wrapped around it in red Feanorian script. The title of each volume and the author's name were printed in red and black inks, but were varied so that The Fellowship of the Ring and The Return of the King have titles in black, whereas The Two Towers has its title in red. The Two Towers also differed in the printing on its spine, in which the colours of the title and author's name (on the other two volumes, a black title with the author's name in red) were inverted.

The first edition maps are coloured, folded inserts in red and black ink, initialled by Christopher Tolkien, and they incorporate some variant spellings (such as 'Kirith Ungol' in the map to RotK). The volumes should also announce themselves to have been printed on octavo (8vo) paper, and bear prices on the jacket flaps of 21s per volume and 63s for the set (Tolkien wasn't wrong about the price: a guinea was well over a week's wages for some people in 1954). More importantly, they contain a completely different author's preface and will bear on the frontispiece the entire printing history up to the time of their own impression. Anything other than a first impression will announce the dates of subsequent printing runs of the first edition.

If you have a copy of RotK with slipped text, it's a rare copy and might be worth a bit, and first impression volumes in excellent condition are also very valuable. If the volumes are signed, the value is exponentially greater. Even a late impression set in good condition is still not cheap, so this is not the edition to be using for day-to-day reference work.

I've rambled on long enough, especially since most of this is available elsewhere. Here's a picture of a first edition set in top condition (http://www.betweenthecovers.com/btc/item/80301).

p.s. Bump.

narfforc
09-19-2006, 07:43 AM
When I am lucky enough to:

1. Have the money.

2. Find a set in such good order.

I will use your excellent descriptions, thank you.

I thought I was lucky (I have 57 different copies of LotR).

P.S Where do you live and what type of burglar alarm have you got, please?

The Squatter of Amon Rūdh
09-19-2006, 09:27 AM
I live in Bar-en-Danwedh, as announced in my location. For a burglar alarm I'm using a string of tin cans tied to my right big toe. Oh, and I keep a loaded blunderbuss under my pillow. I should also mention that I've taken the precaution of coating the pages in a strychnine solution.

By the way, my set isn't worth a fraction of what was being asked for the collection I linked to. All the volumes are from quite late print runs, it's not signed and the jackets are discoloured (I think by tobacco smoke). I have only two copies of LotR, one of which is a cheaper hardback; I have been meaning to buy a copy of the 50th anniversary edition, though.

narfforc
09-19-2006, 09:41 AM
Yes I saw a set here (UK) going on ebay for about £4,500, my car looked at one point like it was going to sold, but the thought of getting on the Omnibus with mortals filled me with loathing.


P.S Do you have anyone to house-sit when on vacation, are you a one dwarf sub-species and don't have any family left, I would like to volunteer, I won't need paying............................................ ....................and I have just bought some heavy-duty rubber gloves to clean out your house with.

Bźthberry
09-19-2006, 09:46 AM
By the way, my set isn't worth a fraction of what was being asked for the collection I linked to. All the volumes are from quite late print runs, it's not signed and the jackets are discoloured (I think by tobacco smoke).

Nonetheless, I was quite surprised at what you paid for them, going by the newspaper story from the bookseller, which you linked to us once in chat. Assuming that link wasn't hacked. :D

The maps are a very attractive feature. It is a delight to be able to open them out to a larger size, although as I recall we didn't have a great deal of opportunity to pull them out much at the Bird and Baby.

The Squatter of Amon Rūdh
09-19-2006, 10:04 AM
Do you have anyone to house-sit when on vacation
You think I can afford a holiday when I waste money on expensive Tolkieniana? When I do venture from my halls, Glaurung sometimes lends a claw. He provides his own meals, but has a tendency to heap everything in the middle of the sitting room and go to sleep on it. Usually I just rely on an elaborate system of booby traps and a private arrangement with the Belegost Mafia.

Nonetheless, I was quite surprised at what you paid for them, going by the newspaper story from the bookseller, which you linked to us once in chat. Assuming that link wasn't hacked.

Would I hack a newspaper's website just to impress a few people in the chat room? More to the point, would I admit to it in public? What you have to remember about the newspaper in question is that it's basically a glorified shop window for estate agents. The article (http://archive.thisisessex.co.uk/2004/4/5/132386.html) was written in the midst of the furore over the films, and news was short that week.

Those first-edition maps are a feature I'd like to see revived in new editions. I think that a lot of people would be prepared to pay more for better cartography (my HarperCollins edition even has 'Drimrill Dale' on its maps). Yes, the pub probably wasn't the best place to look at those books, but I'm sure there'll be other opportunities. Some scans could be arranged, other commitments and pointless translations permitting.

Bźthberry
09-19-2006, 11:09 AM
Would I hack a newspaper's website just to impress a few people in the chat room? More to the point, would I admit to it in public? What you have to remember about the newspaper in question is that it's basically a glorified shop window for estate agents. The article (http://archive.thisisessex.co.uk/2004/4/5/132386.html) was written in the midst of the furore over the films, and news was short that week.



Well, someone changed it. The original article had a colour if I remember correctly picture of the proud new owner and as I recall there were several lamentations when subsequent viewings by others failed to find the much desired image.

Archives, it seems, are not to be trusted for historical accuracy. :rolleyes:

Are the maps as good in the fiftieth anniversary edition?

Lalwendė
09-19-2006, 12:37 PM
£45,000! I paid a lot less than that for my house! :eek: (admittedly 9 years ago).

Top tip, if that branch of Oxfam were aware of what they were selling, other places, including Oxfam are not, so you may get lucky one day. After all, davem found that India paper edition of LotR on Sheffield flea market for just £3, which was totally shocking. And a lot of branches of Oxfam regularly throw away books which they cannot sell within a couple of weeks (it's caused a bit of controversy amongst Sheffield's bibliophiles), so it might be worth rummaging in bins round the back of your local Oxfam!

I'm regularly to be found scruffing about in junk bins in shops, both charity and otherwise, market stalls, jumbles etc as it's not only nice Tolkien editions that have turned up from such places, and collectors can't always be choosers. Still, might find something to supplement my woeful pension one day. ;)

narfforc
09-19-2006, 12:51 PM
I bought a 1959 copy of The Hobbit from the Oxfam shop in Preston, they knew exactly how much it was worth and it wasn't £3, so beware they are not all stupid

Lalwendė
09-19-2006, 01:06 PM
I bought a 1959 copy of The Hobbit from the Oxfam shop in Preston, they knew exactly how much it was worth and it wasn't £3, so beware they are not all stupid

That's Lancastrians for you though. Cannier than most. ;) Sheffield seems to lag behind a bit in that way, as shown by the £3 India paper edition. There used to be a 2nd hand bookstall outside my office too and the guy used to save me any Tolkien stuff, including a dirt cheap lovely box set. Plus I found the Family Album for £2 in a remaindered bookshop here.

Now excuse me while I set the watchmen up on the city walls to bar you all from entry. ;)

We saw a 1963 Hobbit in Oxford's Oxfam last week and it was about £120, and it looked well-read, too.

davem
09-19-2006, 01:18 PM
Are the maps as good in the fiftieth anniversary edition?

I've got 3 hardback editions of the 50th anniversary edition - the Harper Collins de-luxe single volume, the Houghton Mifflin 50th & the Harper Collins 3 volume edition with Tolkien's original covers. In the HC editions the maps are fold out once again, but quite small. However, they are printed so that you can see the whole map with the book open & laid flat, so you can follow the journey. This is also the case with the 25th anniversary edition of UT & the 2nd ed Sil (both of which have been printed in the last two months (& with the same matching matte dust jackets as the 3 vol LotR, so they make a very nice set. The HM 50th has a larger fold out map, but it is stuck together with tiny blobs of rubber glue, which leaves little surface tedars on the paper when the map is opened for the first time. All the 50th editions contain the pages of the Book of Mazarbul which Tolkien drew for the original edition, but were omitted for reasons of cost. All the maps are the 'revised' one, which first appeared in Unfinished Tales (showing the forest of Eryn Vorn for the first time. It seems CT has drawn a new map for the forthcoming 'Children of Hurin' to be published in April 2007.

As an aside, the edition of TH which Harper Collins brought out to match the one volume LotR 50th has the same kind of fold out map, but, as per Tolkien's original intention, the 'moon letters' are printed in reverse on the back of the map so that they only show up when held up to the light.

If anything in this post has caused offence to other Downers, can I apologise in advance...

Lalwendė
09-21-2006, 10:21 AM
Well today we went up the local golden mile of charity shops (its in Sheffield on the edge of the wealthiest ward in the UK outside London, full of intelligentsia types - its not all like the Full Monty here ;) - so good trawls are always to be found) and I saw a fair few interesting things. A couple of second editions (4th and 8th impressions) of LotR for £28 and £30 (bit expensive really). I'd like to know if I'm right to think they're expensive! Old hardback single volumes for around a fiver. A pristine unread Unfinished Tales for £3. I actually came away though with a 1st edition Iris Murdoch for £1.50 and a copy of The Handmaid's Tale. ;)