The Lord of the Rings trilogy
J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954-55
TOLKIEN, John Ronald Reuel (1892-1973). Lord of the Rings Trilogy - The Fellowship of the Ring. London: Allen & Unwin, 1954. [With:] - The Two Towers. London: Allen & Unwin, 1954. [And:] - The Return of the King. London: Allen & Unwin, 1955.

One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them

The first edition, first impression, of the greatest fantasy trilogy of the modern era. C.S. Lewis wrote of it that: “no imaginary world has been projected which is at once as multifarious and so true to its own inner laws; none so seemingly objective, so disinfected from the taint of an author’s merely individual psychology; none so relevant to the actual human situation yet so free from allegory.” Tolkien, a noted scholar of Old English, conceived the idea for his tales set in “Middle Earth” while in the trenches of the First World War; its immense influence has been felt ever since.

The present is a lovely set comprising the first edition, first impression of the first two books and the first edition, first impression, second state of The Return of the King. Hammond’s bibliography originally noted that the first impression, first state, was marked by the signature mark “4” and sagging type on page 49, but has since corrected this to say that these are indicative of the first impression, second state. Hammond and Anderson A5.a.i-iii.

Three volumes, octavo. Half titles, each volume with map printed in red and black tipped in at rear (vol. 2 map with some spotting). Original red cloth (slight lean to spines, a little spotting to top edges); pictorial dust jackets printed in red, black, and gold (spines a little toned and worn, some general rubbing to panels and wear at corners, vol. 1 lower panel separated at spine fold and separation started on front flap) . Provenance: D.L. Eccles (discreet ownership inscriptions).

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