"THE MOST INFLUENTIAL FANTASY NOVEL EVER WRITTEN": HANDSOMELY BOUND FIRST EDITIONS OF ALL THREE VOLUMES OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS
TOLKIEN, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. The Two Towers. The Return of the King. London: George Allen & Unwin, 1954-55. Three volumes. Octavo, modern full black morocco gilt decorated with iconography from the novel, raised bands, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. $15,000.
First editions of all three volumes of Tolkien's tour de force: his richly imagined, elegantly crafted, wildly popular vision of the battle for the fate of Middle-Earth, an exceptional set.
"The most influential fantasy novel ever written" (Clute & Grant, 951). Although immediately occasioned by his publisher's request for a sequel to The Hobbit (1937), Tolkien's incomparable epic draws on lore, legends and languages he had been creating since World War I. Published in three volumes for practical reasons (Tolkien always considered it a single novel), it is "one of [the 20th] century's lasting contributions to that borderland of literature between youth and age… [and] to that select list of books which continue through the ages to be read by children and adults with almost equal pleasure" (Eyre, 134-35). "Of all popular bestsellers, The Lord of the Rings is the one most likely to be read over and over again" (Shippey, Tolkien: Author of the Century, 306). Large folding maps, printed in black and red, at rear of each volume. Return of the King in Hammond's revised second state of the first printing, with gathering mark "4" and sagging type on page 49. Two Towers in second state of the first printing (1954). Hammond & Anderson A5a. Fantasy and Horror 5-289. Pringle, Modern Fantasy, 60-61. Fantasy 100 Best, 161-62.
Fine condition, beautifully bound.