Introduction

This page documents the many versions of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings that I’ve collected over the years. I appear to have something of a compulsion with regard to this book: at the moment, I own twenty-one (twenty-one!) different versions of LotR. And I’m not even certain why: as much as I love the book, I really can’t explain my irrational urge to acquire so many different releases of it.

To stave off some of the e-mails I get, I should stress that I’m not a collector in the true sense. I don’t pay attention to resale value or frequency of appearance, so I’m afraid I really can’t tell you how rare your copy of the book is, or how much it’s worth. Nor do I have any secret sources for tracking down a particular version you’re hunting for: I suggest trying Abe Books, Alibris, Amazon, eBay, RareLibrary, or more specialised sites such as Tolkien Bookshelf or The Tolkien Shop, to see whether they can help you.

If you’d like to sell a version not listed here to me, please feel free to contact me via the e-mail link at the bottom of this page, but I’m really not much use on general market consultations. (And if you’re looking for a recommendation for an in-print version to purchase, try the excellent listing on the Unofficial Homepage for The Lord of the Rings site.)


Catalogue

These are all the versions on my shelves, in something at least approaching chronological publication order.

Entries are listed by publisher and year of publication, with a brief summary followed by the full catalogue entry and cover images. Click any image to view it at a larger size.

Notes on Catalogue Entries

Text & Edition and Impression(s)
See the Brief Glossary section, below, for an explanation of terms used in these fields.
Format
The listed page counts distinguish prefatory material (such as copyright and title pages, tables of contents, lists of other works by the author, textual and editorial notes, and the Foreword); the text itself (including the Prologue, appendices, and index, plus synopses in multi-volume releases); and addenda (material appearing after the text, such as maps, advertisements, or blank pages). Pages outside the numbering sequence are listed by count (e.g. “8 pp. addenda” indicates 8 unnumbered pages appearing after the text).
Maps & Illustrations
Unless otherwise stated, the line drawing of the Ring-inscription is by J.R.R. Tolkien; the line drawings of the West-gate of Moria and the inscription on Balin’s tomb are by an uncredited printer’s assistant after J.R.R. Tolkien; and the maps are by Christopher Tolkien after J.R.R. Tolkien and printed in black ink.

Ballantine Books, 1965

Three-volume “Authorized Edition” paperback: Ballantine edition, 1965; seventh, eleventh, and thirty-fifth impressions, 1966–71.

Rear cover (The Fellowship of the Ring) Spine (The Fellowship of the Ring) Front cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Rear cover (The Two Towers) Spine (The Two Towers) Front cover (The Two Towers)

Cover (The Two Towers)

Rear cover (The Return of the King) Spine (The Return of the King) Front cover (The Return of the King)

Cover (The Return of the King)

Rear cover (Bored of the Rings) Spine (Bored of the Rings) Front cover (Bored of the Rings)

Cover (Bored of the Rings)

Published

New York: Ballantine Books, October 1965.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

Ballantine edition, 1965. (No edition information on copyright page.)

Format

Mass-market paperback (178 mm × 107 mm).

Three volumes, 1538 pp. total:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 528 pp. (i–xviii prefatory; 19–527 text; 1 p. addendum).
  • The Two Towers: 448 pp. (1–14 prefatory; 15–447 text; 1 p. addendum).
  • The Return of the King: 544 pp. (i–xvi prefatory; 17–544 text).

Set in Times (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impressions
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Thirty-fifth impression, 1971.
  • The Two Towers: Eleventh impression, 1967.
  • The Return of the King: Seventh impression, 1966.
Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • pp. 16–17: North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by uncredited artist, 1965).
  • p. 40: “A Part of the Shire” (map redrawn by uncredited artist, 1965).
  • p. 80: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 399: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 416: Balin’s tomb inscription.

The Two Towers:

  • pp. 12–13: North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by uncredited artist, 1965).

The Return of the King:

  • pp. 14–15: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by uncredited artist, 1965).
ISBNs

None. Front covers and spines include Ballantine Books product codes:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 01533.
  • The Two Towers: 01534.
  • The Return of the King: 01535.
Price

List price 95¢ per volume; also sold as slipcased set (Ballantine Books product code 59224), list price $2.85.

Notes

First authorised paperback release, rush-issued with 1965 revised text to re-assert US copyright claim after release of unauthorized Ace Books 1965 paperback edition. Published “by arrangement with Houghton Mifflin Company”: covers bear red “Dolphin Edition: Houghton Mifflin with Ballantine Books” escutcheons.

Cover art by Barbara Remington, with green-boxed “statement from the author” text on back cover. Page edges stained yellow (Hammond’s Descriptive Bibliography says “orange”).

Parodied by the original 1969 Signet paperback edition of the Harvard Lampoon’s Bored of the Rings, which includes cover art by Michael K. Frith (bottom) and a somewhat different “statement from the authors” (Henry N. Beard and Douglas C. Kenney).

Lacks the introduction by Peter S. Beagle present in current Ballantine Books paperback versions (added in 1973).

Descriptive Bibliography Reference

Revised edition (1965), entries A5d.i‒iii, pp. 105‒20.


George Allen & Unwin, 1966

Three-volume “Revised Edition” hardcover: Allen & Unwin second edition, 1966; first impression, 1966.

Rear cover (The Fellowship of the Ring) Spine (The Fellowship of the Ring) Front cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Dust jacket (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Rear cover (The Two Towers) Spine (The Two Towers) Front cover (The Two Towers)

Dust jacket (The Two Towers)

Rear cover (The Return of the King) Spine (The Return of the King) Front cover (The Return of the King)

Dust jacket (The Return of the King)

Published

London: George Allen & Unwin, 27 October 1966.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

Allen & Unwin second edition, 1966.

Format

Hardcover (227 mm × 148 mm) with dust jacket.

Three volumes, 1216 pp. total:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 428 pp. (4 pp. plus 1–5 prefatory; 5–423 text; 1 p. addendum).
  • The Two Towers: 352 pp. (1–352 text).
  • The Return of the King: 436 pp. (5–440 text).

Set in Imprint, 11/12-point.

Impressions

First impression, 1966 (all three volumes).

Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • p. 26: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map, red and black).
  • p. 59: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 319: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 333: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: North-western Middle-earth (1954 map, red and black).

The Two Towers:

  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: North-western Middle-earth (1954 map, red and black).

The Return of the King:

  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map, red and black).
ISBNs

None in my copies.

Retroactive ISBNs for this edition were created in 1970, though they are not specific to this impression:

The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Two Towers:

The Return of the King:

Price

List price 25/– (£1 5s.) per volume; also sold as slipcased set, list price £6 6s.

Notes

First UK release of the 1965 second-edition text. Dull-green dust jackets, with ring-and-eye motif on front. Top page edges (only) stained red.

Descriptive Bibliography Reference

Second Allen & Unwin edition (1966), entries A5e.i‒iii, pp. 120‒38.


Houghton Mifflin, 1974

Single-volume “Collector’s Edition” hardcover; Allen & Unwin second edition, 1966 (emended 1987); twenty-seventh impression, undated.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Slipcase

Slipcase front

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1 November 1974; revised impression April 1987.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

Allen & Unwin second edition, 1966 (emended 1987), listed as “1965/1966 edition” on copyright page.

Format

Hardcover (242 mm × 162 mm) with gold-stamped cover and matching slipcase.

Single volume, 1216 pp., paginated as three separate volumes:

  • Prefatory material: 19 pp. (i–x, 1–9).
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 417 pp. (10–27, 1 p., 28, 1 p., 29–424 text).
  • The Two Towers: 342 pp. (11–352 text).
  • The Return of the King: 426 pp. (15–440 text).
  • Addenda: 12 pp.

Set in Imprint with Libra ornaments printed in red (typefaces not specified on credits page).

Impression

Twenty-seventh impression, undated (but likely from period 2004–6: see Notes, below.)

Maps & Illustrations
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 26: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map).
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 59: Ring-inscription.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 319: West-gate of Moria.
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 333: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, emended 2004, red and black).
ISBNs

All impressions (1974, 1987, and more recent):

Price

No list price specified: Descriptive Bibliography gives list price as $50.00 at time of release. (Newer impressions list for $75.00 at time of writing.)

Notes

Collector’s Edition bound in red leatherette with gold, blue, and green foil stamping; matching red leatherette slipcase.

Revised impression incorporates editorial corrections from Ballantine Books editions; adds “Note on the Text” by Douglas A. Anderson; and replaces 1954 map of north-western Middle-earth with “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map).

Emended Unfinished Tales map, 2004, interchanges labels for rivers Celos and Sirith in Gondor, placing Celos as the western tributary and Sirith as the eastern, to agree with 1955 large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor.

Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull date the Unfinished Tales map emendation to 2004 in The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion (p. 588, third note to p. 875); if correct, this means my copy is from no earlier than 2004. Since the book lacks an ISBN-13 code (introduced on 1 January 2007), it is most likely an impression from the period 2004–6.

Errata

Omits large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor.

Descriptive Bibliography Reference

‘Collector’s edition’, revised impression (1987), entry A5r, pp. 162‒63.

Cf. original impression, ‘Collector’s edition’ (1974), entry A5k, pp. 148‒49.


Unwin Paperbacks, 1981

Three-volume paperback: Unwin third edition, 1981; seventh impression, 1984.

Rear cover (The Fellowship of the Ring) Spine (The Fellowship of the Ring) Front cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Rear cover (The Two Towers) Spine (The Two Towers) Front cover (The Two Towers)

Cover (The Two Towers)

Rear cover (The Return of the King) Spine (The Return of the King) Front cover (The Return of the King)

Cover (The Return of the King)

Published

London: Unwin Paperbacks, 9 March 1981.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

Unwin third edition, 1979, listed as “Fourth edition 1981” on copyright page.

Format

Mass-market paperback (172 mm × 110 mm).

Three volumes, 1552 pp. total:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 544 pp. (1–8 prefatory; 9–529 text; 15 pp. addenda).
  • The Two Towers: 448 pp. (1–10 prefatory; 11–442 text; 6 pp. addenda).
  • The Return of the King: 560 pp. (1–14 prefatory; 15–556 text; 4 pp. addenda).

Set in Times (typeface not specified on credits page, but earlier impressions specified “10 on 11 point Times”, per Descriptive Bibliography entry).

Impressions

Seventh impression, 1984 (all three volumes).

Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • p. 38: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map).
  • p. 77: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 398: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 416: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (1954 map), small-scale key plus 4 sections.

The Two Towers:

  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (1954 map), small-scale key plus 4 sections.

The Return of the King:

  • pp. 12–13: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map).
  • Addenda (4 pp. plus inside back cover): North-western Middle-earth (1954 map), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
ISBNs

The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Two Towers:

The Return of the King:

Price

List price £2.50 per volume; also sold as slipcased set.

Notes

“Triptych” cover art by Pauline Baynes (uncredited); black spines and rear covers. Titles stamped in gold foil on front cover and spine.

Descriptive Bibliography Reference

‘Fourth edition’ (1981), revised impression of ‘Third edition’ (1979), entries A5n.i‒iii, pp. 153‒56.


Unicorn (Unwin Paperbacks), 1983

Single-volume paperback: Allen & Unwin single-volume edition, 1968 (emended 1983); eighth impression, 1986.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Published

London: Unicorn (Unwin Paperbacks), 21 February 1983.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

Allen & Unwin single-volume edition, 1968 (emended 1983), listed as “Third edition 1983” on copyright page.

Format

Paperback (195 mm × 128 mm).

Single volume, 1200 pp. (2 pp. plus 1–12 prefatory; 13–1193 text; 5 pp. addenda).

Set in Pilgrim (typeface not specified on credits page, but earlier impressions specified “10 on 11 point Pilgrim” per Descriptive Bibliography entry).

Impression

Eighth impression, 1986.

Maps & Illustrations
  • p. 8: North-western Middle-earth (1954 map, small-scale key).
  • p. 30: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map).
  • p. 32: North-western Middle-earth (1954 map, NW section).
  • p. 63: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 234: North-western Middle-earth (1954 map, NE section).
  • p. 323: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 337: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • p. 432: North-western Middle-earth (1954 map, SW section).
  • p. 626: North-western Middle-earth (1954 map, SE section).
  • pp. 774–5: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map).
ISBNs
Price

List price £7.95.

Notes

Cover art by Roger Garland, depicting Barad-dûr. First UK single-volume paperback release to include the full appendices, according to listing on TolkienBooks.net.

Descriptive Bibliography Reference

‘Unicorn’ edition (1983), entry A5o, pp. 156‒57.


Houghton Mifflin, 1988

Three-volume hardcover: Allen & Unwin second edition, 1966 (emended 1987); forty-seventh and forty-eighth impressions, undated

Rear cover (The Fellowship of the Ring) Spine (The Fellowship of the Ring) Front cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Dust jacket (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Rear cover (The Two Towers) Spine (The Two Towers) Front cover (The Two Towers)

Dust jacket (The Two Towers)

Rear cover (The Return of the King) Spine (The Return of the King) Front cover (The Return of the King)

Dust jacket (The Return of the King)

Slipcase face Slipcase spine Slipcase rear

Slipcase

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, April 1987; revised impression, 3 March 1988.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

Allen & Unwin second edition, 1966, emended 1987, listed as “1965 edition” on copyright page.

Format

Hardcover (246 mm × 157 mm) with dust jacket and slipcase.

Three volumes, 1232 pp. total:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 432 pp. (i–viii plus 1–9 prefatory; 10–423 text; 1 p. addendum).
  • The Two Towers: 352 pp. (1–12 prefatory; 13–352 text).
  • The Return of the King: 448 pp. (1–16 prefatory; 17–440 text; 8 pp. addenda).

Set in Imprint (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impressions
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: forty-eighth impression, undated.
  • The Two Towers: forty-seventh impression, undated.
  • The Return of the King: forty-eighth impression, undated.

Impressions probably from 2007 or later; see Notes, below.

Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • p. 26: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map).
  • p. 59: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 319: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 333: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, emended 2004, red and black).

The Two Towers:

  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, emended 2004, red and black).

The Return of the King:

  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map, red and black).
ISBNs

Three-volume set with slipcase:

The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Two Towers:

The Return of the King:

Price

List price $43.35 when released; $65.00 at time of purchase. Also sold as individual volumes, list price $22.00 at time of purchase.

Purchased for $40.19 on 29 March 2014.

Notes

Released to mark the 50th anniversary of publication of The Hobbit.

Dust-jacket and slipcase art by Alan Lee (original impression had no dust jackets and different art on covers and slipcase). Includes first appearance of “Note on the Text” by Douglas A. Anderson.

Emended Unfinished Tales map, 2004, interchanges labels for rivers Celos and Sirith in Gondor, placing Celos as the western tributary and Sirith as the eastern, to agree with 1955 large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor.

Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull date the Unfinished Tales map emendation to 2004 in The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion (p. 588, third note to p. 875); if correct, this means my copies are from no earlier than 2004. Since the books include ISBN-13 codes (introduced on 1 January 2007), they are most likely impressions from 2007 or later.

Descriptive Bibliography Reference

Second impression (1988) of Houghton Mifflin edition, revised impression (1987), entries A5q.i–iii, pp. 160‒62.


Houghton Mifflin, 1991

Single-volume “Illustrated Centenary Edition” hardcover: Allen & Unwin single-volume edition, 1968 (emended 1983); unspecified impression (1991‒2004).

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Dust jacket

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 12 November 1991.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

Allen & Unwin single-volume edition, 1968 (emended 1983), listed as “1965 edition” on copyright page.

Format

Hardcover (251 mm × 169 mm) with dust jacket and ribbon bookmark.

Single volume, 1200 pp. (1–12 prefatory; 13–1193 text; 7 pp. addenda) plus 48 colour plates (see Maps & Illustrations, below).

Set in Pilgrim (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impression

No impression or date specified (but certainly pre-2004: see Notes, below.)

Maps & Illustrations
  • p. 30: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map).
  • p. 63: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 323: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 337: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map).
  • Addenda (5 pp.): “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Leaves tipped in opposite pp. 1, 33, 64, 96, 128, 144, 176, 192, 208, 224, 240, 272, 304, 336, 352, 368, 384, 416, 448, 480, 496, 512, 528, 560, 576, 608, 640, 656, 672, 688, 704, 736, 768, 784, 800, 816, 832, 848, 880, 912, 929, 944, 960, 976, 992, 1008, 1024, and 1040: colour illustrations by Alan Lee.
ISBNs

Later revised impressions:

Price

List price $70.00.

Notes

Hardcover with brown boards, stamped with gold foil JRRT monogram on front cover, monogram and credits on spine. Peach endpapers; red silk ribbon bookmark. Dust-jacket art (depicting Frodo, Sam, and Sméagol at the Black Gate on front cover, vignette of Battle of Helm’s Deep on spine, River Isen on rear cover) and interior colour plate illustrations by Alan Lee.

Later revised impressions include the 2004 “50th Anniversary Edition” emended text, set in a different typeface (Birka?). These do not appear to be the 2004 edition: possibly the same as the Houghton Mifflin 2002 illustrated edition?

Descriptive Bibliography Reference

New Houghton Mifflin (trade) edition (1991), entry A5y, p. 175.

Cf. listings for New (trade) edition (1991), entry A5w, pp. 172–4, and New Houghton Mifflin (limited) edition (1991), entry A5x, pp. 174–5.


HarperCollins, 1997

Single-volume “Deluxe Limited Edition” hardcover: HarperCollins edition, 1994; second impression, 2000.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Slipcover

Slipcase front

Published

London: HarperCollins, 15 December 1997.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

HarperCollins edition, 1994.

Format

Hardcover (230 mm × 154 mm) with slipcase.

Single volume, 1152 pp. (i–xiv prefatory; 1–1137 text; 1 p. addendum).

8

Set in Linotron Plantin.

Impression

Second impression, 2000.

Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • Front endpaper: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, red and black).
  • p. 16: “A Part of the Shire” (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
  • p. 49: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 298: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 311: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Rear endpaper: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map).
ISBNs
Price

No list price specified.

Purchased for £90.00 on 31 October 2000.

Notes

Quarter-bound hardcover: black cloth-bound boards with gold-stamped JRRT monogram on front, black leather spine with gold-stamped monogram and credits. Printed on India paper with gilt edges. Matching black cloth-covered slipcase has gold-stamped JRRT monogram on front cover.

Does not include “Note on the Text” by Douglas A. Anderson, unlike most versions of the 1994 HarperCollins edition.

Errata
  • p. 49: Omits the first line of Gandalf’s two-line quotation from the Ring-inscription – “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them” – in Book I, Chapter 2 (“The Shadow of the Past”).

Houghton Mifflin, 1999

Single-volume paperback: HarperCollins edition, 1994; fourth impression, 1999.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 30 June 1999.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

HarperCollins edition, 1994.

Format

Paperback (208 mm × 139 mm).

Single volume, 1168 pp. (i–xviii prefatory; 1–1137 text; 13 pp. addenda).

Set in Plantin (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impression

Fourth impression, 1999. (See Notes below.)

Maps & Illustrations
  • p. 18: “A Part of the Shire” (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
  • p. 49: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 298: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 311: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
ISBNs
Price

List price $20.00.

Purchased for $16.00 on 1 October 2000.

Notes

First US single-volume paperback version. Cover art by Alan Lee, depicting Minas Tirith after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields. Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 1993) by Douglas A. Anderson.

Earlier impressions had more saturated cover art, with roundel proclaiming “One-volume edition/First time in paperback”. My copy has desaturated cover art and roundel proclaiming “An epic motion picture trilogy coming soon from New Line Cinema”.

Errata
  • p. 49: Omits the first line of Gandalf’s two-line quotation from the Ring-inscription – “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them” – in Book I, Chapter 2 (“The Shadow of the Past”).

Houghton Mifflin, 1999

Three-volume paperback: HarperCollins edition, 1994; third and eighth impressions, 1999.

Rear cover (The Fellowship of the Ring) Spine (The Fellowship of the Ring) Front cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Rear cover (The Two Towers) Spine (The Two Towers) Front cover (The Two Towers)

Cover (The Two Towers)

Rear cover (The Return of the King) Spine (The Return of the King) Front cover (The Return of the King)

Cover (The Return of the King)

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 15 September 1999.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

HarperCollins edition, 1994.

Format

Paperback (208 mm × 139 mm).

Three volumes, 1216 pp., paginated continuously:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 432 pp. (i–xvi prefatory; 1–398 text; 18 pp. addenda).
  • The Two Towers: 352 pp. (i–x prefatory; 399–726 text; 14 pp. addenda).
  • The Return of the King: 432 pp. (i–xii prefatory; 727–1137 text; 9 pp. addenda).

Set in Plantin (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impressions
  • The Fellowship of the Ring: Eighth impression, 1999.
  • The Two Towers: Third impression, 1999.
  • The Return of the King: Third impression, 1999.
Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • p. 18: “A Part of the Shire” (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
  • p. 49: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 298: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 311: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).

The Two Towers:

  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).

The Return of the King:

  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
ISBNs

The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Two Towers:

The Return of the King:

Price

List price $12.00 per volume; also sold as slipcased set including matching paperback version of The Hobbit (published 15 October 1999, ISBN-10 0-618-00225-1, list price $45.00).

Notes

Cover art by Alan Lee, depicting Rivendell on The Fellowship of the Ring, Orthanc on The Two Towers, and Minas Tirith on The Return of the King. Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 1993) by Douglas A. Anderson.

Errata
  • p. 49: Omits the first line of Gandalf’s two-line quotation from the Ring-inscription – “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them” – in The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter 2 (“The Shadow of the Past”).

Houghton Mifflin, 1999

Seven-volume “Millennium Edition” hardcover: HarperCollins edition, 1994; unspecified impression.

Rear cover (The Ring Sets Out) Spine (The Ring Sets Out) Front cover (The Ring Sets Out)

Cover (The Ring Sets Out)

Rear cover (The Ring Goes South) Spine (The Ring Goes South) Front cover (The Ring Goes South)

Cover (The Ring Goes South)

Rear cover (The Treason of Isengard) Spine (The Treason of Isengard) Front cover (The Treason of Isengard)

Cover (The Treason of Isengard)

Rear cover (The Ring Goes East) Spine (The Ring Goes East) Front cover (The Ring Goes East)

Cover (The Ring Goes East)

Rear cover (The War of the Ring) Spine (The War of the Ring) Front cover (The War of the Ring)

Cover (The War of the Ring)

Rear cover (The End of the Third Age) Spine (The End of the Third Age) Front cover (The End of the Third Age)

Cover (The End of the Third Age)

Rear cover (Appendices) Spine (Appendices) Front cover (Appendices)

Cover (Appendices)

Slipcase front Slipcase spine Slipcase rear

Slipcase

Slipcase with volume spines

Slipcase with volume spines

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 10 October 1999.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

HarperCollins edition, 1994.

Format

Hardcover (184 mm × 117 mm) with slipcase.

Seven volumes, 1624 pp. total:

  • The Ring Sets Out: 304 pp. (i–xx prefatory; 1–283 text; 1 p. addendum).
  • The Ring Goes South: 260 pp. (6 pp. prefatory; 5–253 text; 1 p. addendum).
  • The Treason of Isengard: 260 pp. (6 pp. prefatory; 5–252 text; 2 pp. addenda).
  • The Ring Goes East: 196 pp. (6 pp. prefatory; 5–189 text; 1 p. addendum).
  • The War of the Ring: 212 pp. (6 pp. prefatory; 5–197 text; 9 pp. addenda).
  • The End of the Third Age: 196 pp. (6 pp. prefatory; 1–182 text; 8 pp. addenda).
  • Appendices: 196 pp. (6 pp. prefatory; 5–180 text; 10 pp. addenda).

Set in Plantin (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impression

No impression or date specified.

Maps & Illustrations

The Ring Sets Out:

  • p. 25: “A Part of the Shire” (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
  • p. 66: Ring-inscription.

The Ring Goes South:

  • p. 120: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 138: Balin’s tomb inscription.

Appendices:

  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
ISBNs

Seven-volume set with slipcase:

The Ring Sets Out:

The Ring Goes South:

The Treason of Isengard:

The Ring Goes East:

The War of the Ring:

The End of the Third Age:

Appendices:

Price

List price $70.00.

Purchased for $49.00 on 1 October 2000.

Notes

Predates millennium by two years. One volume for each book, plus a seventh for appendices, with volume titles based on Tolkien’s original book-title suggestions. Black covers with gold rings-and-eye motif and matching slipcase. Spines spell out TOLKIEN (well, that or TEN KILO, or TOKE NIL, or O, LET INK, depending on owner’s shelving eccentricities). Printed in Great Britain.

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 1993) by Douglas A. Anderson.

The equivalent HarperCollins (UK) release apparently includes a CD of “Tolkien reading excerpts from The Lord of the Rings and notes by George Sayer”, per listing on TolkienBooks.net. My US release contains no such CD.


Houghton Mifflin, 2001

Three-volume paperback: HarperCollins edition, 1994; first impression, 2001.

Rear cover (The Fellowship of the Ring) Spine (The Fellowship of the Ring) Front cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Rear cover (The Two Towers) Spine (The Two Towers) Front cover (The Two Towers)

Cover (The Two Towers)

Rear cover (The Return of the King) Spine (The Return of the King) Front cover (The Return of the King)

Cover (The Return of the King)

Slipcase front Slipcase spine Slipcase rear

Slipcase

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 15 September 2001.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

HarperCollins edition, 1994.

Format

Paperback (208 mm × 139 mm) with slipcase.

Three volumes, 1216 pp., paginated continuously:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 432 pp. (i–xvi prefatory; 1–398 text; 18 pp. addenda).
  • The Two Towers: 352 pp. (i–x prefatory; 399–726 text; 14 pp. addenda).
  • The Return of the King: 432 pp. (i–xii prefatory; 727–1137 text; 9 pp. addenda).

Set in Plantin (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impressions

First impression, 2001 (all three volumes).

Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • p. 18: “A Part of the Shire” (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
  • p. 49: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 298: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 311: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).

The Two Towers:

  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
ISBNs

Three-volume set with slipcase:

The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Two Towers:

The Return of the King:

Price

List price $35.00; also sold as individual volumes at list price $12.00.

Notes

Movie tie-in release with cover photographs of Frodo (Elijah Wood) on The Fellowship of the Ring, Saruman (Sir Christopher Lee) on The Two Towers, and Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) on The Return of the King. Slipcase photograph, repeated as triptych across tops of book spines, shows Black Riders crossing the Ford of Bruinen.

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 1993) by Douglas A. Anderson.

Errata
  • p. 49: Omits the first line of Gandalf’s two-line quotation from the Ring-inscription – “One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them” – in The Fellowship of the Ring, Book I, Chapter 2 (“The Shadow of the Past”).

Houghton Mifflin, 2002

Single-volume paperback: HarperCollins edition, 1994; first impression, 2002.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1 August 2002.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

HarperCollins edition, 1994.

Format

Paperback (208 mm × 139 mm).

Single volume, 1168 pp. (i–xviii prefatory; 1–1137 text; 13 pp. addenda).

Set in Plantin (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impression

First impression, 2002.

Maps & Illustrations
  • p. 18: “A Part of the Shire” (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
  • p. 49: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 298: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 311: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
ISBNs
Price

List price $20.00.

Notes

Movie tie-in release with cover photograph of Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen) in front hall of Bag End. Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 1993) by Douglas A. Anderson.


Houghton Mifflin, 2002

Three-volume illustrated hardcover: Houghton Mifflin edition, 2002; seventh impression, undated.

Rear cover (The Fellowship of the Ring) Spine (The Fellowship of the Ring) Front cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Rear cover (The Two Towers) Spine (The Two Towers) Front cover (The Two Towers)

Cover (The Two Towers)

Rear cover (The Return of the King) Spine (The Return of the King) Front cover (The Return of the King)

Cover (The Return of the King)

Slipcase front Slipcase spine Slipcase rear

Slipcase

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1 November 2002.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

Houghton Mifflin edition, 2002, listed as “1965/1966 edition” on copyright page.

Format

Hardcover (252 mm × 194 mm) with dust jackets and slipcase.

Three volumes, 1216 pp. plus 50 colour illustrations, paginated continuously:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 432 pp. (i–xx prefatory; 1–410 text and illustrations, 2 pp. addenda).
  • The Two Towers: 352 pp. (i–x prefatory; 411–750 text and illustrations, 2 pp. addenda).
  • The Return of the King: 432 pp. (i–xii prefatory; 751–1170 text and illustrations).

Set in Birka (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impressions

Seventh impression, undated (all three volumes).

Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • Front and rear endpapers: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, red and black).
  • p. 18: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map).
  • p. 49: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 306: West-gate of Moria (graphic in white on black).
  • p. 321: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • pp. i, 20, 51, 82, 113, 129, 161, 177, 192, 208, 225, 257, 287, 303, 319, 335, 352, 366, and 399: colour illustrations by Alan Lee.

The Two Towers:

  • Front and rear endpapers: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, red and black).
  • pp. 431, 464, 478, 495, 512, 542, 557, 578, 619, 631, 652, 668, 684, 717, 733, and 748: colour illustrations by Alan Lee.

The Return of the King:

  • Front and rear endpapers: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map).
  • pp. 763, 777, 793, 804, 826, 856, 889, 904, 912, 935, 952, 968, 984, 998, and 1017: colour illustrations by Alan Lee.
ISBNs

Three-volume set with slipcase:

The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Two Towers:

The Return of the King:

Price

List price $80.00; also sold as individual volumes at list price $27.50.

Purchased for $63.00 on 30 March 2014.

Notes

Slipcase, dust-jacket and interior colour art by Alan Lee. Dust-jacket covers depict the halls of Khazad-dûm (The Fellowship of the Ring); the Tower of Orthanc after the flooding of Isengard (The Two Towers); and Minas Tirith after the Battle of the Pelennor Fields (The Return of the King).

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 2002) by Douglas A. Anderson.

Errata
  • The Fellowship of the Ring, p. 271: Omits the final paragraph of Book II, Chapter 2 (“The Council of Elrond”) – “Sam sat down, blushing and muttering. ‘A nice pickle we have landed ourselves in, Mr. Frodo!’ he said, shaking his head.”

Houghton Mifflin, 2003

Single-volume paperback: HarperCollins edition, 1994 (emended 2003); first impression, 2003.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 24 July 2003.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

HarperCollins edition, 1994 (emended 2003).

Format

Paperback (203 mm × 139 mm).

Single volume, 1168 pp. (i–xviii prefatory; 1–1137 text; 13 pp. addenda).

Set in Plantin (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impression

First impression, 2003.

Maps & Illustrations
  • Front inner flap and cover: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, colourised)
  • p. 18: “A Part of the Shire” (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
  • p. 49: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 298: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 311: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994).
  • Rear inner cover and flap: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map, colourised).
ISBNs
Price

List price $20.00.

Notes

Movie tie-in release with cover photograph of the Ring on hand of Sauron (Sala Baker). Cover has extended flaps folded inside, similar to those of a dust jacket.

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 1993) by Douglas A. Anderson.


HarperCollins, 2004

Single-volume “50th Anniversary Deluxe Edition” hardcover: HarperCollins 50th-anniversary edition, 2004 (emended 2008); seventh impression, 2008+ (?).

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Slipcase

Slipcase

Advertising slip

Advertising slip

Published

London: HarperCollins, 18 October 2004.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965 (emended 2004).

HarperCollins 50th-anniversary edition, 2004 (emended 2008).

Format

Hardcover (229 mm × 154 mm) with slipcase.

Single volume, 1184 pp. (i–xxvi prefatory; 1–1157 text; 1 p. addendum).

Set in PostScript Monotype Plantin.

Impression

Seventh impression, undated. (Textual revisions suggest impression date 2008 or later: see Notes, below.)

Maps & Illustrations
  • p. 20: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map, red and black).
  • p. 50: Ring-inscription (red).
  • p. 305: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 319: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Oversized colour plate tipped in between pp. 320‒21: “Leaves from the Book of Mazarbul” (three 1947 illustrations, full colour).
  • Oversized leaf tipped in between pp. 746–7: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map, emended 2004, red and black).
  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, red and black).
ISBNs
Price

No list price specified.

Purchased for £100.00 on 18 February 2014.

Notes

Quarter-bound hardcover: grey paper-bound boards stamped with foil (red and gold rings-and-eye motif on front cover, gold JRRT monogram on back cover), burgundy cloth spine stamped with gold foil monogram, credits, and publisher logo. Burgundy endpapers; red silk ribbon bookmark.

Matching slipcase has burgundy paper-bound boards stamped with gold foil Ring and Ring-inscription; front has circular hand-cut hole to display Eye of Sauron from book’s front cover.

Incorporates almost 400 textual and typographical emendations by editors Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull in consultation with Christopher Tolkien, plus further minor corrections from 2005–8 as detailed by Hammond and Scull (see References, below).

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 2004), by Douglas A. Anderson, and “Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition” by Hammond and Scull.

Tengwar letter ungwe ( Ungwe (Tengwar letter) ) and G-rune ( G-rune (Certh) ) printed in red on p. 25.

Emended large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor, 2004, corrects original 1955 spellings of three names to match text: Kiril → Ciril, Kelos → Celos, Kirith Ungol → Cirith Ungol.

Supposedly a limited edition, as noted on advertising slip, but still on sale in 2014, 10 years after initial release.

Errata
  • Advertising slip (included in shrink-wrap): Specifies “the original red and black maps by Christopher Tolkien” as a feature, but book includes “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map) rather than original 1954 map of north-western Middle-earth.
  • Adverising slip: Specifies “revised and updated index” (i.e., 2005 index by Scull and Hammond), but index is unrevised version, identical to that in 2004 Houghton Mifflin release (below).

Houghton Mifflin, 2004

Single-volume “50th Anniversary Edition” hardcover: HarperCollins 50th-anniversary edition, 2004; first impression, 2004.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Slipcase front Slipcase spine Slipcase rear

Slipcase

Advertising slip

Advertising slip

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 21 October 2004.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965 (emended 2004).

HarperCollins 50th-anniversary edition, 2004.

Format

Hardcover (240 mm × 165 mm) with slipcase.

Single volume, 1184 pp. (i–xxvi prefatory; 1–1157 text; 1 p. addendum).

Set in Plantin (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impression

First impression, 2004.

Maps & Illustrations
  • Oversized leaf tipped in on front free endpaper verso: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, emended 2004, red and black).
  • p. 20: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map, red and black).
  • p. 50: Ring-inscription (red).
  • p. 305: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 319: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Colour plates tipped in between pp. 320‒21: “Leaves from the Book of Mazarbul” (three 1947 illustrations, full colour).
  • Oversized leaf tipped in on rear free endpaper recto: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map, emended 2004, red and black).
ISBNs
Price

List price $100.00.

Notes

50th Anniversary Edition bound in dark grey-brown suede leather and stamped with gold and copper foil (rings-and-eye motif on front cover, credits on spine, JRRT signature on rear cover); interior has red endpapers, gilded page edges, and burgundy silk ribbon bookmark. Matching leather-covered slipcase has author, title, and “50th Anniversary Edition” designation on front cover and early JRRT drawing of Tower of Orthanc on rear cover. (Despite the inconsistent appearance of my scans, the book and slipcase are in fact the same colour leather.)

Incorporates almost 400 textual and typographical emendations by editors Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull in consultation with Christopher Tolkien.

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 2004), by Douglas A. Anderson, and “Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition” by Hammond and Scull.

Tengwar letter ungwe ( Ungwe (Tengwar letter) ) and G-rune ( G-rune (Certh) ) printed in red on p. 25.

Emended Unfinished Tales map, 2004, interchanges labels for rivers Celos and Sirith in Gondor, placing Celos as the western tributary and Sirith as the eastern, to agree with 1955 large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor.

Emended large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor, 2004, corrects original 1955 spellings of three names to match text: Kiril → Ciril, Kelos → Celos, Kirith Ungol → Cirith Ungol.

Errata
  • p. 50: Ring-inscription drawing is rejected original version, with an incorrect letter (hwesta in place of unque, changing word agh, “and”, to akh) in middle of second line.

Houghton Mifflin, 2005

Single-volume “50th Anniversary One-Volume Edition” hardcover: HarperCollins 50th-anniversary edition, 2004 (emended 2005); first impression, 2005.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Dust jacket

Published

Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 12 October 2005.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965.

HarperCollins 50th-anniversary edition, 2004 (emended 2005).

Format

Hardcover (214 mm × 148 mm) with dust jacket.

Single volume, 1216 pp. (i–xxvi prefatory; 1–1178 text; 12 pp. addenda).

Set in Plantin (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impression

First impression, 2005.

Maps & Illustrations
  • p. 20: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map).
  • p. 50: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 305: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 319: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Addenda (5 pp.): North-western Middle-earth (map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994), small-scale key plus 4 sections.
  • Addenda (2 pp.): Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (large-scale map redrawn by Stephen Raw, 1994, emended 2004).
ISBNs
Price

List price $38.00.

Notes

Blue cloth-bound boards; mustard endpapers.

Incorporates “50th Anniversary Edition” emendations of 2005 as detailed by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (see References, below).

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 2004), by Douglas A. Anderson, and “Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition” by Hammond and Scull. Index revised by Scull and Hammond, 2005.

Does not include “Leaves from the Book of Mazarbul” illustrations.

Emended large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor, 2004, corrects original 1955 spellings of three names to match text: Kiril → Ciril, Kelos → Celos, Kirith Ungol → Cirith Ungol.


HarperCollins, 2005

Three-volume “50th Anniversary Edition” hardcover: HarperCollins 50th-anniversary edition, 2004 (emended 2005); fifth impression, 2005+ (?).

Rear cover (The Fellowship of the Ring) Spine (The Fellowship of the Ring) Front cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Cover (The Fellowship of the Ring)

Rear cover (The Two Towers) Spine (The Two Towers) Front cover (The Two Towers)

Cover (The Two Towers)

Rear cover (The Return of the King) Spine (The Return of the King) Front cover (The Return of the King)

Cover (The Return of the King)

Published

London: HarperCollins, 17 October 2005.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965 (emended 2004).

HarperCollins 50th-anniversary edition, 2004 (emended 2005).

Format

Hardcover (229 mm × 154 mm) with dust jacket.

Three volumes, 1232 pp., paginated continuously:

  • The Fellowship of the Ring: 432 pp. (i–xxiv prefatory; 1–408 text).
  • The Two Towers: 352 pp. (i–x prefatory; 409–742 text; 8 pp. addenda).
  • The Return of the King: 448 pp. (i–xii prefatory; 743–1178 text).

Set in PostScript Monotype Plantin.

Impressions

Fifth impression, undated (all three volumes). Textual revisions suggest impression date 2005 or later: see Notes, below.

Maps & Illustrations

The Fellowship of the Ring:

  • p. 20: “A Part of the Shire” (1954 map, red and black).
  • p. 50: Ring-inscription (red).
  • p. 305: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 319: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Oversized colour plate tipped in between pp. 320‒21: “Leaves from the Book of Mazarbul” (three 1947 illustrations, full colour).
  • Oversized integral leaf tipped in before rear endpaper: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, emended 2004, red and black).

The Two Towers:

  • Oversized integral leaf tipped in before rear endpaper: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, emended 2004, red and black).

The Return of the King:

  • Oversized integral leaf between pp. 746–7: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map, emended 2004, red and black).
  • Oversized integral leaf tipped in before rear endpaper: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, emended 2004, red and black).
ISBNs

The Fellowship of the Ring:

The Two Towers:

The Return of the King:

Price

List price £20.00 per volume. Also sold as slipcased set (ISBN-10 0-00-720357-8; ISBN-13 978-0-00-720357-4).

The Fellowship of the Ring purchased for £9.56 on 30 December 2012; The Two Towers and The Return of the King purchased for £14.10 and £13.27, respectively, on 29 September 2012.

Notes

Black boards stamped with copper foil credits on spines; cream endpapers. Dust jackets feature reworked versions of Tolkien’s original designs, stamped with copper foil lettering.

Incorporates “50th Anniversary Edition” emendations of 2005 as detailed by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (see References, below).

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 2004), by Douglas A. Anderson, and “Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition” by Hammond and Scull. Index revised by Scull and Hammond, 2005.

Emended large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor, 2004, corrects original 1955 spellings of three names to match text: Kiril → Ciril, Kelos → Celos, Kirith Ungol → Cirith Ungol.


HarperCollins, 2014

Single-volume “60th Anniversary Edition” illustrated hardcover: HarperCollins 60th-anniversary edition, 2014; first impression, 2014.

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Cover

Rear cover Spine Front cover

Slipcase

Published

London: HarperCollins, 19 June 2014.

Text & Edition

Revised text with new Foreword, 1965 (emended 2014).

HarperCollins 60th-anniversary edition, 2014.

Format

Hardcover (252 mm × 171 mm) with transparent slipcase.

Single volume, 1246 pp. (i–xxviii prefatory; 1–1217 text; 1 pp. addendum) plus 50 colour plates (see Maps & Illustrations, below).

Set in Dante (typeface not specified on credits page).

Impression

First impression, 2014.

Maps & Illustrations
  • Front endpaper: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” (1980 Unfinished Tales map, red and black).
  • p. 51: Ring-inscription.
  • p. 313: West-gate of Moria.
  • p. 327: Balin’s tomb inscription.
  • Rear endpaper: Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor (1955 large-scale map, emended 2004, red and black).
  • Oversized integral leaf tipped in opposite p. i and integral leaves tipped in opposite pp. 21, 52, 85, 117, 134, 166, 183, 200, 214, 230, 262, 294, 310, 326, 342, 358, 372, 406, 438, 470, 486, 503, 520, 550, 566, 588, 630, 646, 662, 678, 694, 726, 742, 758, 770, 772, 804, 813, 836, 868, 900, 917, 922, 948, 964, 982, 997, 1012, and 1026: colour illustrations by Alan Lee.
ISBNs
Price

List price £60.00.

Purchased for £37.20 on 19 June 2014.

Notes

Quarter-bound hardcover: paper-bound boards with colour illustrations by Alan Lee (Frodo, Sam, and Sméagol at the Black Gate on front cover, River Isen on rear cover), blue cloth spine stamped with gold foil (JRRT monogram, author, title, Ring with inscription, volume titles, publisher logo). Blue ribbon bookmark.

Translucent plastic slipcase with white text on front cover (author, title, illustrator credit) and rear cover (advertising copy), blue text and images on spine (JRRT monogram, author, title, Ring with inscription, volume titles, publisher logo).

Incorporates all known corrections to 2004 “50th Anniversary Edition” text as detailed by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull (see References, below).

Prefatory material includes “Note on the Text” (emended 2004), by Douglas A. Anderson, and “Note on the Revised Text” (2014 revision of 2004 “Note on the 50th Anniversary Edition”) by Hammond and Scull. Index revised by Scull and Hammond, 2004 (updated 2014).

Does not include “Leaves from the Book of Mazarbul” illustrations.

Errata
  • Front endpaper: “The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age” map omits 2004 emendation (interchanging of labels for rivers Celos and Sirith in Gondor, placing Celos as the western tributary and Sirith as the eastern, to agree with 1955 large-scale map of Rohan, Gondor, and Mordor).

Brief Glossary

In the catalogue entries on this page, I use some terms in senses approximating their traditional meanings in descriptive bibliography. These meanings don’t always correspond to general usage, so to avoid confusion, I thought it best to spell out the definitions I use:

text
A specific authorial version of a work, independent of editorial or typographical concerns. The Lord of the Rings has only two texts: the original version published in 1954–55 and the 1965 revised version (often called “second edition”), which incorporates a number of authorial changes. Editorial emendations, such as the handful of alterations and many corrections made for the 2004 “50th Anniversary Edition” releases, are noted as such and do not constitute new texts.
edition
A particular typeset version of a work. Different editions often have distinct typefaces and layout, and almost always have different pagination. Copies which share page references are typically from the same edition, though they may differ in minor respects if from different impressions.
impression
A specific printing of an edition; the set of copies produced in a particular print run. Different impressions of the same edition represent substantially the same typeset version of the text itself, with the same typeface and pagination, but may incorporate textual revisions or altered presentation elements (such as cover art, copyright page details, and prefatory material).

References

Books

Hammond, Wayne G., and Christina Scull. The Lord of the Rings: A Reader’s Companion. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 27 December 2005.
The authors, noted Tolkien scholars who with Christopher Tolkien co-edited the “50th Anniversary Edition” releases of 2004, provide comprehensive annotations, including details of many textual differences in versions released in the period 1954–2002 and complete listings of their own emendations of 2004 and 2005.
Hammond, Wayne G., with the assistance of Douglas A. Anderson. J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography. Winchester: St Paul’s Bibliographies; New Castle, Delaware: Oak Knoll Books, 1993. Second impression, 2013.
The standard reference work, providing exhaustive detail on versions released up through mid-1992. Hammond and Christina Scull are preparing an updated version which will extend coverage to more recent releases.

Websites

Bibliography Defined
Online excerpt of Terry Belanger’s “Descriptive Bibliography” chapter from Book Collecting: A Modern Guide (ed. Jean Peters; New York and London: R. R. Bowker, 1977). A good source for bibliographical terminology.
TolkienBooks.net: An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography
An extensive site devoted to documenting all known UK releases and related works.
Too Many Books and Not Enough: The Weblog of Wayne G. Hammond & Christina Scull
Many posts discuss textual and editorial issues. See in particular “Lord of the Rings Comparison” for discussion of post-2004 corrections to the “50th Anniversary Edition” text.
Wayne & Christina
Website of Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull. Includes much useful information; see in particular the Addenda and Corrigenda to the 50th Anniversary Edition of The Lord of the Rings (2004‒5) article, which summarizes all post-2004 emendations made to the “50th Anniversary Edition” text.