I had to treat myself…

To a third copy of Lord of the Rings

I’ve already got these…

On the left my single volume paperback from the 1970s, on the right one of the 50th anniversary editions – in this case illustrated by Alan Lee, which together with its companion 60th anniversary Hobbit was part of my joining offer to the Folio Society back then – I think I joined primarily to get these books!

But this year, Harper Collins have excelled themselves by bringing out two collectable editions, for the first time featuring Tolkien’s illustrations, maps etc. I just couldn’t resist. There is a deluxe slipcased edition, with ribbed quarter-leather binding, and all the extras, and a non-slipcased edition with fewer extras, but still boxed, with sprayed edges, the illustrations and two maps. They retail at £150 and £60 at full price, initially I ordered one of each, paying £110 and £40 ish respectively, but cancelled the deluxe order, which I was only buying for its rarity value (5000 only theoretically) and had no intention of taking out of the shrink wrap.

I have decided I am not that kind of book collector!

But even the not quite ‘deluxe’ one is simply gorgeous….

It comes in a blue box with design on the front, the dust-jacket has a die-cut hole in the front cover to show the Eye of Sauron on the boards beneath. Just look at those sprayed edges with the Elvish (no idea what it says). There are two fold out maps drawn by Christopher Tolkien, one inserted in the back, one in the front. The illustrations include pages from the Book of Mazarbul, marvellous facsimiles created by Tolkien to accompany the ‘Bridge of Khazad-dum’ chapter (bottom middle). The text has red headings etc. It’s a lovely thing, but a particular delight for having the author’s own illustrations.

I can feel a re-read coming on – it’s been over ten years since my last go. But it’ll have to wait until after Chris’s Narniathon which starts in December, and my own Nordic FINDS plans for the start of 2022!

By the way, there are tons of translation tools for English into Elvish now, and I used this one to uncover that ‘AnnaBookBel’ is…

If I were the tattooing kind of person, that would probably be my tatt!

BUY at Blackwell’s via my affiliate link!

17 thoughts on “I had to treat myself…

  1. carltonc63 says:

    Looks a lovely edition, but you are brave to get a single volume edition, as I would be afraid of breaking the spine!
    I too read the single volume paperback in 1974, but this had been borrowed by my Dad, so I bought a three volume paperback set later in the 1970’s, the three volume Unwin hardbacks once I could afford them in the 1980’s and a few years ago a second-hand Folio Society edition illustrated by Eric Fraser (seven full-page images and 57 head-pieces based on original designs by Queen Margrethe II of Denmark. Tolkien had seen her sketches and was so impressed that his executors gave special permission for Fraser to interpret them for Folio).
    I have the Tolkien illustrations in The Art of the Lord of the Rings, which I was given as a present.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I’ve only ever had single volume editions of LOTR! I just couldn’t resist this one with the illustrations. I shall read it carefully – or just look at the illustrations and actually re-read from the big paperback 😀

  2. Calmgrove says:

    Hah, Nordic FINDS will be something to anticipate for early 2022 but I shall be simultaneously visiting Narnia and Middle-earth from December as I continue with The Two Towers and further in my own LOTR reread! Still, I can see why you’d have to resist the temptation to delve in right now with this gorgeous edition, I’d be sorely enticed. 😊

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I will definitely join in the Narniathon, but couldn’t do both at the same time! I shall just look at the pictures of my new LOTR for now.

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I will probably re-read my 1970s paperback, but look at the illustrations and just read the extras in this new one, perhaps. Yes 1954 for the original – not sure why they’ve published this new edition now – 67 years? Maybe they just managed to get all the extras sorted and went for it.

  3. MarinaSofia says:

    Beautiful editions! I am trying to justify Olga Tokarczuk Books of Jacob limited signed edition to myself. But then I think that my boys will probably just clear out all my books after my death without the slightest inkling of their value, so…

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      If it would give YOU pleasure to own, I’d go for it (if affordable). In my instructions to my daughter alongside my will I ought to include some guidance on book values. 😀

  4. Liz says:

    Gorgeous. I forwarded your post to my husband who is a massive LOTR fan and has various versions, but may not be able to resist one of these…! I have also been really interested to see your Nordic FINDS page. We have just booked a holiday to Norway for next July and I had been thinking of doing some Nordic reading to get me in the mood, so your lists are the perfect place to start, thank you! 😀📚

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      Thanks Liz. I don’t want to empty anyone’s bank balance, but these new editions, although single volume and hard to manage if you do actually want to read them, are just lovely. I’ll be starting lots of Nordic reading very soon too!

  5. Liz Dexter says:

    Oh that is lovely! I have the three-volume set in yellow, green and blue paperbacks, very battered, and a fake-leather one-volume I must have had as a present, with onionskin paper and teeeeeeny print. I would like to re-read, but don’t think I can yet. How long were you planning to take over each volume, just as a sort of question and not thinking about a readalong or anything oh no no no …

  6. Kristina says:

    Oh wow- this is a gorgeous edition! I especially love the elvish on the edges , im thinking maybe it’s the « one ring to rule them all » from inside the ring itself maybe?

    • AnnaBookBel says:

      I put that quote into the Elvish translator – and it didn’t match – but there is more than one Elvish language, could be one of the others!

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