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Old 03-03-2003, 01:12 AM   #1
Quirkette
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Silmaril What's On The Cover Of Your Book?

What is on the cover of your Tolkein books? There must be so many different ways the books could look, after all. I know it's a silly question, but I thought it might be fun to find out.
For example, on the cover of my Fellowship of the Ring, there is a picture of Gandalf standing in front of Frodo. The wizard holds the ring in his palm, and his robe, hair, and beard are white. I think he's wearing satin! Frodo peers from behind and he looks like a grade school math teacher in a white smock. His expression is that of general cluelessness. On the whole, I'm not very impressed.
What do you have on your cover/s?
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Old 03-03-2003, 01:28 AM   #2
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Sting

On my Fellowship of The Ring its a Nazgul standing along a road.
And on my The Two Towers is a dragon that attacks a castle,(...?) or something, its hard to see.
And at last on my The Return of The King its Frodo standing on the top of Mt. Doom with Gollum, and holding out his hand..It looks like he shall drop the ring..
Well thats my books... [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-03-2003, 02:06 AM   #3
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Silmaril

My '73 Ballantine's edition contains four books, The Hobbit and the three LotR books, in a red box with Tolkien's own drawings of Elven symbols and a Nmenorean tile on it. The cover pictures on each book are Tolkien's own watercolor paintings:

On the Hobbit: 'Bilbo comes to the Huts of the Raftelves'
On FotR: 'The Hills: Hobbiton-across-the-Water'
On TT: 'Fangorn'
On RotK: 'Barad-Dr'

I think it's wonderful to see that Tolkien was a talented artist as well as a great author.
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Old 03-03-2003, 03:36 AM   #4
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Sting

I have all 3 books in one hard back edition of Lord of the Rings. The dustcover displays an Alan Lee artwork (Gollum, Frodo and Sam at the Black Gate). Without the dustcover, the book is simply a shade of brown with The J.R.R.Tolkien symbol in gold.
I also have a paperback version with an Illustration of Gandalf by John Howe on the cover.
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:40 AM   #5
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Silmaril

On my paperback of The Two Towers there is an illustration of Legolas and Gimli. Legolas has a snowy white mullet, I'm afraid. His hand is resting on Gimli's shoulder. Gimli is gifted with a great deal of flowing dark hair, flowing dark beard, and low forehead! You guys are lucky... [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] Both fellas are dressed to be in Robin Hood's band of merry men.
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Old 03-03-2003, 01:39 PM   #6
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Sting

On The Hobbit, ive got an illustration of Smaug lying in his treasure. The Lotr series is the movie style... i think. Fotr has the silhouette style picture of the fellowship walking in a line. TTT has... well, its blue. and rotk... is red. unfinished tales has the little circular flower style illustration on a black cover. the silmarillion has an illustration of something... maybe a boat, with loads of people.. cant remember.
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Old 03-03-2003, 01:42 PM   #7
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Sting

My 1955 (Unwin)hardback editions have greyish dustjackets, with the Eye in the centre, surrounded by the Ring inscription, and a ring just above that. Looking closely, it isn't The Ring, as it has a red stone (I wonder why? Or whether the illustrator read the book?) Underneath the dustjacket the books are red fabric.

Those editions are really smelly though (mildew? damp? I don't know, but they smell bad [img]smilies/eek.gif[/img] ) My new paperback set (Harper Collins 1999) are black, with very subtle JRRT designs all over in a glossier black. There are dwarf runes along the top and bottom, and pictures that are actually relevant to the stories. I really like this set.

My copy of The Hobbit (Unwin 1966) has a really nice Tolkien sketch of Smaug flying over Laketown. Incidentally, the price on the back is 60p, what a bargain! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]

It sounds as if some of you have some great illustrations on your copies. I like the sound of Legolas and Gimli as Merry Men!
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Old 03-03-2003, 01:49 PM   #8
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Sting

LoTR=the movie Nazgul on some water
Silmarillion, Unfinished Tales and the Hobbit with black covers, and a pic. by Tolkien.

HoME 1, has a picture of the Fall of Gondolin, by John Howe.
HoME 2: a picture of Earendil's ship sailing into the void.
HoME 6: Gandalf outside Bag-end
HoME 10: Morgoth and Ungoliante by the Two Trees.
HoME 11: Nienor being confronted by Glaurung.
HoME 12: the Noldor being told the 'prophecy of Mandos'
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Old 03-03-2003, 01:49 PM   #9
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Silmaril

My copy of FOTR, TTT and ROTK all have to Fellowship in green, red and blue. My old version had the same picture on all of them, except the background. My families version is pure black, and our copy of the Hobbit is black cover, Celtic knot style dragon.
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Old 03-03-2003, 01:50 PM   #10
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Sting

The The Hobbit book which I have has a shinier circle in which there is some sort of silver symbol, underneath that is a simple red dragon. There are also symbols round the bottom and a pattern around the top in the same shinier surface as that of the ring.

My LotR book is all three together but I don't know what the picture on the front is because it was left out in the rain last summer and the cover fell off.
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Old 03-03-2003, 02:01 PM   #11
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Silmaril

I have hardback edition of Lord of the Rings with an illustration of Frodo, Sam and Gollum at the Black Gate. Illustrated by Alan Lee.

Also I have a Hobbit edition with a Hobbit hole and Bilbo walking on the road to the Lonely Mountain

The sil has an illustration of the son and the city Valmar I think [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]
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Old 03-03-2003, 02:15 PM   #12
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Silmaril

Well, my books are my mom's books, and they are quite old. The cover of my mom's 'Fellowship of the Ring' book had a drawing of the fellowship standing at the door into Moria. The other books have drawings...I don't know exactly what they're of. My mom's 'The Hoobit' has a drawing of Bilbo riding down the river on top of a barrel.
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Old 03-03-2003, 02:34 PM   #13
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1420!

the cover of my books are plain gray, except for the elven writing in relief. it says: "Old Tom Bombadil was a merry fellow, bright blue his jacket was, and his boots were yellow,..." and so on. too bad it's the same text on all the books, cause i just love tengwar! still, it's too bad that my books don't have pictures (except for the maps at the beginning of the book), but on the other hand it stimulates my immagination even more. I actually wonder what kind of cover could have been used for Silmarillion, for it is an enormous, epic work, and I don't know at all which part should be elected to appear on the front...

anyways, I have seen most of the covers already, as pictures on the internet! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img] (for instance here)
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Old 03-03-2003, 02:47 PM   #14
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Tolkien

Gosh, I feel so ashamed, all of you have the wonderful old copies with beautiful art. And all I have is the new paperback with the picture of the black rider from the movie on it. Well, at least it still has the same story in it.
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Old 03-03-2003, 04:01 PM   #15
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Sting

I have the same one as Gorwingel (actually I don't, my sister does) and my other sister owns a paperback edition of The Hobbit that has a drawing of Bilbo with Sting drawn and looking behind him at Gollum. I borrowed Return of the King and TTT from the library and on TTT is a picture of Saruman and on RotK is a picture of Aragorn holding his sword, which is bloodied. These are the newer paperback editions.
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Old 03-03-2003, 04:09 PM   #16
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Sting

Beware! Some movie editions of RotK do not have the complete glossaries. Look before you buy. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

As for me: the paperbacks are a matched set, with a black hobbit, green FotR, blue TT, and a red ROTK. I believe they are from Tor Fantasy, but I'm not completely sure. I know that they're pretty thread-bare. It's the same set with Legolas having a "white mullet" (as in the post above) [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]

My Christmas present this year was a matched-set hardcover Houghton Mifflin LOTR, with a large picture from Alan Lee stretched out over all three covers. It has the Nazgul on his "winged steed" in the extreme upper foreground, looking out over what appears to be the White City on the extreme right and a patch of trees on the extreme left. When the covers are removed the books are all plain brown with red lettering on the spine telling the title("The Fellowship of the Ring," etc.) and on the front of each book is the gold ring-script circling the Eye in red. Very cool. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

Silmarillion: a picture of the elves, dressed as greeks (white togas), looking out and "ele!"-ing at the stars over the water. It looks like they landed in Hawaii. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] It's rather pretty, though.

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Old 03-03-2003, 04:47 PM   #17
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Question

These are on my dad's books (they're not as old as some people's parents' copies, 1982 I think):
  • Hobbit: the whole company (including Gandalf) in an eagle nest with an eagle that is at least 10 times Gandalf's size
  • FotR: The Fellowship at the gates of Moria (Legolas has very short hair and rosy cheeks that are worse than a Barbie doll's)
  • TTT: Over the years the cover has been ripped off but I do remember it had Frodo, Sam, and Smeagol
  • RotK: Gandalf and a really oafish Aragorn finding the white tree
  • Silmarillion: The destuction of Numenor with a Greek- like building being blown-up

My new copy of LotR is the movie version with a shot of Gandalf in BagEnd. I also have a new copy of the Hobbit with an original Tolkien drawing of Smaug and his hoard.
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:34 PM   #18
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Tolkien

I have somewhat new ones so...here it goes...

The Hobbit: A picture of Gandalf coming upon Bag-End {By Ted Nasmith.}
FOTR: Frodo in Bag-End looking at the ring
TTT: Saruman in Orthanc
ROTK: Aragorn {He actually looks like he took a shower in this picture}
Silm: A picture by Michael Drigenburg of an Elf and the silmarils
Unfinished Tales: It's pretty old. {I got it at a discount book store.} It just has writing on it.
BOLT 1: A picture of a man and an old {looking} Elf sitting by the seashore by Andrew Burward-Hoy.
BOLT 2: The same man as before just with a few Dwarves I suspect about to enter the mines or some other dwarf city. Also by Andrew Burward-Hoy
The Shaping of Middle Earth: A picture of some knights in front of a city by John Howe. {Not sure who or what city}
The Lost Road and other wiritings:A picture of some Orcs I guess at the seashore by Jouhn Howe.
An authorized biography of Tolkien by Humphry Carpenter: A photo of Tolkien himself taken by Billett Potter. {Again, a very old book.}

That's about it for my collection. I havn't read most of them, and I am still waiting to get more of the books.
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:39 PM   #19
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Boots

Hobbit: An orange cover with Michael Hague's illustration of Smaug.

Lord of the Rings. I have the single volume Centeniary edition. Alan Lee's illustration of the Black Gate is on the dust jacket, the cover itself is brown with the Tolkien symbol imprinted in gold.
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:40 PM   #20
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Silmaril

Quote:
My new paperback set (Harper Collins 1999) are black, with very subtle JRRT designs all over in a glossier black. There are dwarf runes along the top and bottom, and pictures that are actually relevant to the stories. I really like this set.
Those are the same ones I have!

My best friend's mom has the first edition published in Canada; If I remember correctly, they each have the same picture with different coloured backgrounds. The picture is of the Fellowship standing in a semi-circle, facing away from us, and looking towards where the title is written. I don't really remember what they really look like, just that Legolas is wearing a long, white cape with the hood up. Oh! I just remembered, on the back it has a summary of the book, and printed on the bottom of the cover there's something like "I am pleased that my books are finally being published in Canada," only it sounded much better than that, because it was written J.R.R. Tolkien, accompanied with a copy of his signature! It's really cool!

[ March 03, 2003: Message edited by: Galadrie1 ]
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Old 03-03-2003, 06:43 PM   #21
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I have Tolkien's original drawing of Smaug on his gold on my version of The Hobbit

I have the Scholastic editions of the trilogy, FotR in green with the hobbits on ponies going through the Old Forest; TTT in blue with the Rohirrim; and RotK in red with the battle of the Pellenor Fields (I think).

My Silmarillion is black with the device of Luthien on the cover.

Unfinished Tales is also black with a Numenorean tile in the middle.

i FINALLY got the HoM-E books, books 1-5 have a black cover with red writing; 6-9 have purple/blue writing; and 10-12 have green writing.

well there's some pointless info no one really wanted to know!
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Old 03-03-2003, 07:19 PM   #22
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My LotR has a scene from the animated film, with two Black (or should I say Brownish-Grey) Riders riding out from Bree (I think). But, since it is quite old now (1978), my wife bought the hardback edition with the Alan Lee Black Gate illustration to read, together with edition of the Hobbit which accompanies it (Smaug sitting on his treasure).

When I first read LotR, I had an old edition that had been in the family for some time. Unfortunately, I no longer have it, but, as I recall, the illustration on the front was a view along a road leading from pleasant, green lands in the forefront, to a dark mountainous land in the disatnce, presumably representing the journey to Mordor. Along the side of the road were twisted trees with goblinesque figures peeping out from them. I would love to know if this edition is still available, since I have not seen it since my copy was lost.

My original copy of The Hobbit was the one that Elanor mentioned, with the drawing of Smaug flying over Lake-Town, but, alas, that too is long gone. I now have a paperback edition in matt black with the red Smaug design and silver runes on the front.

As for the Simarillion, my copy is blue with the Silmaril design on the front. It too is quite old and I am planning on getting the matt black version with the smaller Silmaril design, to accompany my recently acquired Unfinished Tales, which is also matt black with a gloss design on the front.
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Old 03-03-2003, 10:48 PM   #23
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Tolkien

I read my mom's copies they are from back in the seventies. The Hobbit has the drawing from tolkein on it with Smaug lying on his treasure and an susposibly invisible Bilbo.
The lord of the rings is one single book with the Barad-Dur on it,it's getting really battered so I am asking for an illustrated copy for my B-day, you know the books with illustrations from Alan Lee? They are expensive though! [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
Then My mom has the 1st version of the Silmarillion,she orederd it the moment she knew it was going to come out. It has hills on the cover with lightning bolts.
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:44 AM   #24
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Silmaril

I love finding out what's on people's books! I guess that's because I'm a pretty curious monkey. If I were at your house, I'd be rifling through your bookshelves. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img]
My final 2: The Return of the King has Aragorn on the cover looking at the white tree. The illustrator has rendered him in lavender! Really weird sort of crown, too. Gandalf stands behind him. I intend to buy a proper set of books someday. The covers are rather silly, and they're worn. But my Hobbit looks good because it's a recent hardback. Done up in plain green and gold, with runes all about, and, ooooh...matching slip cover.
Don't judge a book by its cover, guys, even if it's fun to compare.
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Old 03-04-2003, 12:46 AM   #25
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Tolkien

I have a single-bound version of the trilogy in a red leather (or pleather, not sure, really) binding with a slide on type case. Very nice looking. My others, sadly, are only paperbacks with Alan Lee or John Howe illustrations on the cover.
My friend, however, has a first-edition (American) of the Silmarillion! Oh, how I covet it!
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:47 PM   #26
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Sting

Well, my copy of the Hobbit had Smaug lying on a heap of treasure, with Bilbo half-visible in the foreground, holding his sword I think. All my other Tolkien books are black with a ring on the front, FotR a yellow ring, TTT green and RotK green. Silmarillion has blue inside the ring, although I can't remember the colouring of the ring. Fairly dull really.

- Talking of book covers, has anyone seen the copy of the hobbit (hardback) with a redish cover, in a box, with goldish swirls on the cover? Do you know the publisher, because I'm desparate to get that book. I see it every day on a bookshelf in my English class, and I want it so much. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img] I know the cover isn't important, but like it.
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:50 PM   #27
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I have the same set as you, Quirkette - the one with Legolas with the mullet, tee hee [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
I would like to get a new set of good ones, as mine have the covers ripping off and stuff. I've been trying to bargain with my friend for her copy with Viggo Mortensen's autograph in it, but no luck yet. I've offered her $60 plus a whole year's worth of being her private servant. hehe. [img]smilies/tongue.gif[/img]

p.s. - sorry if I went off topic a bit.
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Old 03-04-2003, 02:58 PM   #28
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Sting

Quote:
I have a single-bound version of the trilogy in a red leather (or pleather, not sure, really) binding with a slide on type case. Very nice looking.
!! Does the "slide cover" have a device of the white tree/seven stars and seven stones? That edition is only (reportedly) released sixty times or so per year, and is very expensive in the US ($60 or so at BAMM.com). My uncle bought that version, and I got his paperbacks from the seventies (I forgot to add that). Just a plain map of middle earth (green, mostly) on the "slide cover." I didn't really examine them too closely--they were well-loved, and ready to fall apart. [img]smilies/wink.gif[/img]

-'Vana

[ March 04, 2003: Message edited by: DaughterofVana ]
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Old 03-04-2003, 07:00 PM   #29
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Sting

My books have the Actors oh the cover. And my BIG book with all the books in one have a Nazgul on the cover.
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Old 03-05-2003, 12:17 AM   #30
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I'll go with the first set I've owned. The recent pre-movie Ballantine copies:

The Hobbit is teal and has a picture of Gandalf on his way to Bag End.
The Fellowship of the Ring is blue and has a picture of Frodo, Asfaloth, the Nazgul, Merry, Pippin, Sam, Aragorn, and Glorfindel.
The Two Towers is red and shows Frodo and Sam as they begin their journey to Mordor after the breaking.
onewhitetree was gracious enough to send it to me!
The Return of the King is purple and has a picture of the white city.
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Old 03-05-2003, 01:41 AM   #31
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Scribbling from my three old son who got into Daddys desk full of colored pencils and markers.
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Old 03-05-2003, 03:29 AM   #32
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Silmaril

Wow Bill. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
You have a special collector's edition!
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Old 03-05-2003, 04:24 AM   #33
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hay! can you get me a collection of those too? like the idea! [img]smilies/biggrin.gif[/img]
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Old 03-05-2003, 10:17 AM   #34
mark12_30
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Gorwingel,

You can easily make the cover of your choice (to replace or repair the one that was left out in the rain) using a color printer, some contact paper and either glue or tape. Get a picture from a Tolkien art site. Or, you can get a whole lot of covers off of Amazon, probably including the one you lost-- sounds like either the Ringwraith cover or the Gandalf cover, is the back of the book blue & black (Ringwraith), or brown & gold (Gandalf in BagEnd)?

It may seem like a lot of work, and perhaps it is, but there's nothing that can replace your Very First Copy. I wish I still had my original trilogy (I do still have my original The Hobbit.)
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Old 03-05-2003, 05:32 PM   #35
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I have the new version of it(i think). Paper back with Ted Nasmith are on all of them (The Hobbit and LotR). They look pretty good.
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Old 03-06-2003, 10:50 PM   #36
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1420!

I have the old Ballantine set with Tolkien art on the cover like Estelyn dose. There is also a Houghton Mifflin paperback set from 1981 that has the "eye" with runes and a ring with a stone in it. I spent a load of money to get the Easton Press editions of The Hobbit and the trilogy, the set is hardcover with gold inlaid runes above and below the book title there is nice artwork on the frontspiece by Michael Hauge. The set is really nice, the sort of books you put on the top shelf and admire. I think I spent something like $60.00 per book so I try to keep them safe.
I remember seeing an original first-edition
"Hobbit" for sale with a Tolkien autograph for sale $30,000.00- a wee bit pricey for my wallet.
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Old 03-06-2003, 11:16 PM   #37
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Question

Quote:
All my other Tolkien books are black with a ring on the front, FotR a yellow ring, TTT green and RotK green
Same here. execpt with mine FOTR is orange, TTT is green, and ROTK is pink(?!?!). All the rings have a really weird draing of the Eye of Sauron in the middle.
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Old 03-07-2003, 06:44 AM   #38
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I might have to look into some of these older copies of LotR since i have the new ones.
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Old 03-07-2003, 07:06 AM   #39
Inderjit Sanghera
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My cover of LoTR is battered and has cellotape all over it, plus the front page is missing. [img]smilies/rolleyes.gif[/img] I really must take care of my books, esp. since this is just over a year old!
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Old 03-07-2003, 07:15 AM   #40
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In an effort to track down the cover of my first LotR, I came across this site for collector's of Tolkien's works, which has picture of covers from old and rare editions.

And I was overjoyed to find the edition that I first read, that is now, alas, long lost. It was the first English paperback edition in one volume, published by Allen & Unwin 1968, and looked like this:



There are some other editions of the books there that I recognise too, either from friends copies or from descriptions here. Although it's not comprehensive, the site is well worth a quick visit.
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