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Editions of Lord of the Rings

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
When I was in the middle east last summer I read an early edition of Lord of the Rings. It was my friends father's book originally. It was a single book with the three volumes and six books bound as one.

I was instantly hooked and read as much as I could before having to return to Canada. Since then I have purchased paperback editions of the three volumes to read again upon returning to Canada.

I found that the paperbacks were SIGNIFICANTLY different from the early edition I read. The language style had been cleaned up tremendously and was much easier to read. I didn't find this a positive thing as it took away from the immersion of middle-earth I experienced with the early edition. Also, there were some ommissions in the paperback story that were clearly there in the early edition.

Unfortunately, I can not confirm the edition I read as my friend passed away on Canada day (July 1st) this summer, but it was 195x for sure. He was the co-pilot on the DHL flight which was involved in the mid-air collision with the Russian airliner over Germany.

I would like to hear other's opinions who have had a chance to read an earlier edition (perhaps <1960). Didnt want to bring anyone down by mentioning my friend but I just got back from his memorial and I thought maybe I could dedicate a thread to him! For my buddy, Brant John Bordewick Campioni...

I hope there are a few LOTR fans here
i got a letter from the government the other day i opened and read it it said they were suckers they wanted me for their army or whatever picture me given' a damn I said never here is a land that...
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i got a letter from the government the other day i opened and read it it said they were suckers they wanted me for their army or whatever picture me given' a damn I said never here is a land that...
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post #2 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by I-bent-my-wookie:
<strong>When I was in the middle east last summer I read an early edition of Lord of the Rings. It was my friends father's book originally. It was a single book with the three volumes and six books bound as one.

I was instantly hooked and read as much as I could before having to return to Canada. Since then I have purchased paperback editions of the three volumes to read again upon returning to Canada.

I found that the paperbacks were SIGNIFICANTLY different from the early edition I read. The language style had been cleaned up tremendously and was much easier to read. I didn't find this a positive thing as it took away from the immersion of middle-earth I experienced with the early edition. Also, there were some ommissions in the paperback story that were clearly there in the early edition.

Unfortunately, I can not confirm the edition I read as my friend passed away on Canada day (July 1st) this summer, but it was 195x for sure. He was the co-pilot on the DHL flight which was involved in the mid-air collision with the Russian airliner over Germany.

I would like to hear other's opinions who have had a chance to read an earlier edition (perhaps &lt;1960). Didnt want to bring anyone down by mentioning my friend but I just got back from his memorial and I thought maybe I could dedicate a thread to him! For my buddy, Brant John Bordewick Campioni...

I hope there are a few LOTR fans here </strong><hr></blockquote>
Sorry i have just read the french edition, but i love this book.
post #3 of 13
I'm reading a "new" edition, with a clip from the movie on the cover. It's probably one of the most watered down versions you'll find, but it does have a nice preface that mentions, the timeline of the original books, as well as publishing dates. You might want to stop by a B&N and check it out.

BTW, I love the trilogy and the 1st movie. I can't wait to see how they handle the Ents and the huge battle scenes (with catapults full of severed heads) on the big screen.
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post #4 of 13
From the foreword we know that Tolkien made all the changes before he died. I don't think there's a "movie" version of the book. If you read about good old Tom then you read the real thing.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by scott_h_phd:
<strong>From the foreword we know that Tolkien made all the changes before he died. I don't think there's a "movie" version of the book. If you read about good old Tom then you read the real thing.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I understood that his son continued with editing LOTR after he passed away. Maybe not though... I could be confused.

Im sure it would have been much easier to read a later edition for the first time, but since I started on an early edition it now seems almost patronizing at points (not really, just kinda).

Im going to look around for an early edition but Im sure that will cost a small fortune (which incidentally I dont have!).

But I distinctly remember parts of the Tom Bombadil section that were ommitted in the later editions. As well as much more for Elronds daughter that was culled in later editions. Im sure there are a few websites around discussing this though
i got a letter from the government the other day i opened and read it it said they were suckers they wanted me for their army or whatever picture me given' a damn I said never here is a land that...
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i got a letter from the government the other day i opened and read it it said they were suckers they wanted me for their army or whatever picture me given' a damn I said never here is a land that...
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post #6 of 13
Actually, I believe there were some copyright issues surrounding LotR way back when Tolkien first published them. There's a run of American books not authorized by Tolkien and for which I don't believe he saw any money. Or is it British??? They were paperbacks, I remember that much. How old were the paperbacks you picked-up? Nah, scratch that, I'm probably the only geek in this thread who combs the used book stores on a semi-regular basis.
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post #7 of 13
Christopher has made a healthy living on timely releases, edits, and re-writes of dads unfinished tales. He must be down to tales loosely inspired by snot patterns on old handkerchiefs salvaged from good JRR's trousers, but I digest...
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post #8 of 13
The unauthorized U.S. paperback edition of LOTR was published by Ace Books in 1965, about 10 years after LOTR was first published. To compete with it, Tolkien revised the text for the first time for a new "authorized" paperback edition by Ballantine.

Tolkien published a hardcover "Second Edition" shortly afterward, and he continued to make revisions and corrections until his death in 1973.

Christopher Tolkien has edited many of his father's papers for publication in Unfinished Tales and the "History of Middle-Earth" series (10 books? 12?). But his changes in LOTR itself have mostly been limited to corrections of typographical errors that crept into the text every time the type was reset.

Anyway. It's hard to find a good printing of LOTR these days. The Del Rey ones with the movie stills on the covers are your run-of-the-mill cheap paperbacks. But even in the nice Houghton Mifflin ones the print is often muddy and the type is often off-kilter. I have a decent set I bought about 10 years ago. My prized possession, though, is my original set, crummy Ballantine paperbacks from 1980.
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post #9 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by I-bent-my-wookie:
<strong>Unfortunately, I can not confirm the edition I read as my friend passed away on Canada day (July 1st) this summer, but it was 195x for sure.</strong><hr></blockquote>

In the U.S. a 1950s edition would be pretty rare. It didn't become a big success here until the '60s.
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post #10 of 13
If you can get a copy of the UK "third" edition, issued about 10 years ago, it has a big spiel in the front from Tolkiens original publisher explaining the rather torturous timeline of the LOTR editions. He seems to indicate that the new edition is the most accurate and has many things restored and corrected. It is definitely this edition that the movie screenplay was written using, according to PJ. I have 3 copies of LOTR including the first UK edition and it is quite different from the new one. I'm sorry but I dont know which one this is in the US. Anway 4 days till I get my FOTR DVD YAY!!
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post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Matsu:
<strong>Christopher has made a healthy living on timely releases, edits, and re-writes of dads unfinished tales. He must be down to tales loosely inspired by snot patterns on old handkerchiefs salvaged from good JRR's trousers, but I digest...</strong><hr></blockquote>

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

It seems there are a lot of editions out there. I'll try to find out which edition it was that I read since it has been eating away at my brain for a while now.

I'll check what paperback versions I have when I get home from work.... um yeah, im working now.

Im am stoked about the 6th!!!!!!! Bring on the DVD!!!!!!

i got a letter from the government the other day i opened and read it it said they were suckers they wanted me for their army or whatever picture me given' a damn I said never here is a land that...
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i got a letter from the government the other day i opened and read it it said they were suckers they wanted me for their army or whatever picture me given' a damn I said never here is a land that...
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post #12 of 13
[quote]Originally posted by CaseCom:
<strong>It's hard to find a good printing of LOTR these days. The Del Rey ones with the movie stills on the covers are your run-of-the-mill cheap paperbacks. But even in the nice Houghton Mifflin ones the print is often muddy and the type is often off-kilter.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I agree. The Houghton Mifflin "collectors" editions--the big, compiled ones in the faux leather--aren't worth what they're charging for them. The paper isn't acid-free, the printing quality is poor, and I don't think they even bothered to sew the binding. They look good on a shelf, but that's about all.
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post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by I-bent-my-wookie:
<strong>

<img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" /> <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />

It seems there are a lot of editions out there. I'll try to find out which edition it was that I read since it has been eating away at my brain for a while now.

I'll check what paperback versions I have when I get home from work.... um yeah, im working now.

Im am stoked about the 6th!!!!!!! Bring on the DVD!!!!!!

</strong><hr></blockquote>

Home now. replying to my own post, this is getting bloggy

The paperback volumes I picked up (at walmart no less) are published by HarperCollins. This "new reset edition" was published first in paperback in 1999 and first in hardcover in 1994. So I dont know what that means... prolly as heavily edited as any out there.
i got a letter from the government the other day i opened and read it it said they were suckers they wanted me for their army or whatever picture me given' a damn I said never here is a land that...
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i got a letter from the government the other day i opened and read it it said they were suckers they wanted me for their army or whatever picture me given' a damn I said never here is a land that...
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