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Old 03-15-2001, 09:41 AM   #1
julienoricks
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I'm in the middle of a heated argument with a coworker battling it out whether The Lord of the Rings is considered a single book (as he contends), or a trilogy made up of three individual books (as I contend).

I'm an editor for Borders.com and I'm trying to decide how to handle Lord of the Rings in text: italicized or not.

Any body have any answers?

Many thanks!

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Old 03-15-2001, 09:54 AM   #2
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/narya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Rings -- Book or Trilogy?

I referred to LotR as a trilogy once on this site and several ppl quickly jumped on me and said it was a single book. One point they made, I believe, was that the book was originally in 7 parts, so that the division into 3 parts was artificial (like the division of The Odyssey into 24 books). I thought of it as a trilogy without really analyzing the question, but I now think the &quot;one book&quot; theory makes more sense. After all, would you consider Fellowship of the Ring a book in itself, with its cliffhanger ending? It really only makes sense as part of the trilogy -- oops -- as part of the LotR.

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Old 03-15-2001, 09:58 AM   #3
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Re: Lord of the Rings -- Book or Trilogy?

The Lord of the Rings was intended by Tolkien to be published as a single book. Due to cost concerns, Allen Unwin Publishers required the book to be divided into three parts and was so published. Each of the three books also contains two so-called &quot;books&quot; plus the appendix contained in Return of the King, which comprise subsections of the work. Harper Collins recently published the Millenium Edition in seven volumes based upon the &quot;book&quot; subsections plus the appendix which they marketed as being &quot;as intended&quot;. This is not the case. The three traditional volumes of LoTR were divided &quot;artificially&quot; at appropriate points at the end of equally artificial &quot;book&quot; subsections. But JRRT wanted LoTR to be one volume and wrote it as such. It is a single work and technically not a trilogy, three related works with each individual part telling a complete tale (example: the original Star Wars is more of a true trilogy).

The Blue Book on Citation forms would typically require the title &quot;Lord of the Rings&quot; to be italicized. However, if I understand you correctly, the question is whether LoTR is the title of a work, not a question of citation form. From the technical perspective, the actual publication would dictate the citation form, not the author's intent. However, single volume editions of LoTR have been published, complicating matters. In short, ask not the elves for advice for they will say both yea and nay.

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Old 03-15-2001, 10:05 AM   #4
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/narya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Rings -- Book or Trilogy?

Your friend is right. Technically its not a trilogy, though it was published in three books. A trilogy would be three separate stories, each telling its own story but all adding to a continuous theme. The Lord of the Rings is one long, continuous story with no break in time. If you want to really get technical, JRR Tolkien divided his one book into six 'Books', so its really a hexology <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

The reason LotR was divided into three books was because of printing and publication costs. They just weren't sure if anyone would by a 1000+ page book about hobbits and elves and such. Of course, nowadays the book is rated #1 of the century and can be printed in 1 or 100 volumes and would still sell well <img src=smile.gif ALT="">



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Old 03-15-2001, 10:17 AM   #5
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/narya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Rings -- Book or Trilogy?

Definately one book. I read it as one book and although I had meant to stop at the end of the first 'section' I just couldn't. The first book just doesn't have a real ending. It's not intended to be read on it's own.
A trilogy is three seperate books, that you'd understand if you started on the second or the third; though of course with any series of books it's best to read them in chronological order. <img src=smile.gif ALT="">

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Old 03-15-2001, 11:23 AM   #6
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/narya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Rings -- Book or Trilogy?

You've all been so helpful.

I will admit my error, rather quietly, though, and agree to italicize Lord of the Rings thenceforth.

Much appreciation --

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Old 03-15-2001, 12:17 PM   #7
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<img src="http://www.barrowdowns.com/images/posticons/narya.jpg" align=absmiddle> Re: Lord of the Rings -- Book or Trilogy?

Not a problem... come back anytime!

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Old 03-08-2002, 03:23 PM   #8
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The book, I think is a trilogy but far more. Now if you include the Hobitt and the Silmarillion then it is a whole new world of trilogy, happening at different times with different characters.
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Old 03-22-2002, 07:36 PM   #9
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LOTR is deffinetly one book. the way i see it is: in most series of books u can start reading the series by reading a book in the middle, say... book number two. but if you tried to read The Two Towers without read the Fellowship of the Ring, it wouldn't make any sense at all! (believe me, my brother read TTT first and he was totally confused!)
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Old 03-22-2002, 08:25 PM   #10
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If you can get your hands on the Lord of the Rings that's a hardbound red book it will explain what all happened, as well as all the editing that went on when he tried to publish them. It was really interesting when I read it cuz I didn't know when I read the three separate books. Course, the red book is $75 and the little ones are what? $7? But if they have one open like at Borders or wherever you could look at it in there. [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img]
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Old 03-22-2002, 09:52 PM   #11
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it's one story/tale, divided into three parts and six books. each part has two books. now, it may be sold in three volumes depending upon the publisher's wishes. I tend to think of book as just it's case, so it doesn't really matter how many books it is sold in. the story within is not a trilogy, it's one story

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Old 03-23-2002, 12:18 AM   #12
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<center><font color="red">Well... you could say, and I will, that LotR AND The Hobbit are one single book - 'The Red Book of Westmarch' which, when it was discovered and translated from Westron into English, had the first part only published, and then subsequently the second part was published in three volumes for easier reading.

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Old 03-23-2002, 12:49 AM   #13
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Joining the chorus to say no, it's not a trilogy. The Red Book edition is very nice and shows how well it works as one book - there's none of the "gap" feeling that you usually get between books of trilogies that are meant to be trilogies (sorry, don't know how coherent that is). Separate books are nice to have, though, especially when you spend a good amount of time with a fellow Tolkienphile - no need to argue over the one book; one of us will take TTT and the other take ROTK, and all manner of thing shall be well [img]smilies/smile.gif[/img].
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Old 03-25-2002, 09:29 AM   #14
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Well I for one think it's a trilogy... When it 1st came out, the Fellowship came 1st, then TTT, then ROTK.
And has anyone read The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass? They are a trilogy, with cliffhanger endings.
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Old 03-25-2002, 09:49 AM   #15
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pippen, are you referring to the movies or the books? I've never heard of them coming out at different times (of course, I can be wrong). Also, I don't see them as having cliff-hanger endings. I think it is one continuous work. TFoR doesn't 'end' but stops at a convienent place, so that TTT can begin.
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Old 03-25-2002, 05:11 PM   #16
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Well, one book, of course...

My edition /which was a translation/ was of two parts /named volumes, not books/ and the first was FotR and the second TTT&RotK... so it made perfect sense to me - one hardcover /they are hardcover/ edition with all would be too big.....

And something else - as a result I have to do some thinking what is in TTT and what in RotK, it's hard for me to take them as separate......
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Old 03-26-2002, 12:56 PM   #17
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Lord of the Rings is most definitely NOT a trilogy. It was divided into three parts because they thought that it was too long, and people wouldn't buy it as a single book. It was intended to be one single book. Tolkien was paid for the whole book, not each individual volume as a seperate book. He himself referred to it as a single book. Fellowship and Towers were released at the same time, and Return of the King one year later, but this was likely because of the paper shortages at this time. (Remember, the world was still recovering from WWII, even though it was over by then.)
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Old 03-26-2002, 03:45 PM   #18
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If I were to give I choice, I'd say either one book or SIX books (each "book" is made up of two books). The original was one big long book, but then Tolkien divided into SIX books, which was bound into THREE books (I believe...do not hit me if I am wrong: I am only 14!)
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Old 03-26-2002, 03:47 PM   #19
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Can I correct something I said?

Okay: Tolkien wanted one book, as I said, but didn't they make him divide it up and he did the six book divide?
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Old 03-28-2002, 12:31 PM   #20
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LOTR is one book, one tale, and one story. As many others have said, it was divided up into three books for publishing costs.
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Old 03-28-2002, 04:32 PM   #21
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I've always been hesitant to refer to LOTR as a "Trilogy." It's one story, one quest, one epic adventure. One very elaborate, vast, sweeping, enthralling, tragic, touching adventure, yes, but nonetheless still one story. Actually, you know, Tolkien divided the story up into six books. You know...book one was everything that happened to Frodo before he got to Rivendell. Book two began with Many Meetings and the Council of Elrond as well as the formation of the Fellowship. Each "book" is a different chapter of the quest and the war of the ring. Sooo...it's ONE book, i say, it's just divided up into 3 different ones for your convenience.
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Old 04-17-2002, 02:05 PM   #22
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This is an intresting question, but I think that it is more a book that was divided into three prats. It is all the same story, because one book ends doesn't mean that anything was resolved. This book has been sold as three parts as one part and as six parts, so they way that it is divded does not matter much. However I do think that the Hobit is a seprate book. Although we see the recovery of the ring that is a mere event in a totally diferent story. The hobbits only dealings with the ring is just how he found it
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Old 04-20-2002, 04:16 PM   #23
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One book to find them
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