[The Lord of the Rings:]
The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King.London, George Allen and Unwin, 1954-5 Stock Code: 132466
NotesFirst editions, first impressions, the Return of the King in third state with the signature mark "4" and the sagging line of type on p. 49 (previously identified by Hammond as first state). The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the most influential literary works of the century. Its first reception was mixed: favourable and perceptive reviews from C. S. Lewis and from W. H. Auden, who had attended Tolkien's Oxford lectures, were countered by others who were hostile, sometimes bitterly so. But the trilogy went on to astonishing sales and forged a major change in public literary taste. "Heroic fantasy" has since become one of the most commercially successful literary genres, having a transforming impact upon the entertainment industry, from electronic games to movies.
3 volumes, octavo. Finely bound by the Chelsea Bindery in red morocco, titles and decoration to spines gilt, "Eye of Sauron" to front boards gilt, dark green endpapers, gilt edges. Housed in a red leather entry slipcase.
Each volume has a map illustrated by the Author.
The occasional minor blemish, an excellent set in a fine binding.
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