Terrific set of first impressions of the LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy, comprising THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING, THE TWO TOWERS, and THE RETURN OF THE KING.
"Nobody believes me when I say that my long book is an attempt to create a world in which a form of language agreeable to my personal aesthetic might seem real. But it is true." – Tolkien, "A Secret Vice"
Tolkien's Middle Earth grew not only from his experiences in World War I and studies as a professor of English Language and Literature at Oxford, but from his childhood hobby of constructed languages (conlangs). Tolkien argued in his essay "A Secret Vice" that "for perfect construction of an art-language it is found necessary to construct at least in outline a mythology" along with it. In other words, "your language construction will breed a mythology." Middle Earth sprang into being in part so that Tolkien could draw on a mature culture, history, and mythology for his beloved conlangs. As a result, we have Bilbo, Frodo, and Sam; Gandalf the Grey, and Aragorn who is Strider; the One Ring, the covetous Gollum, and a harrowing journey to Mount Doom. Matches the first state points in both text and jackets according to Hammond's authoritative bibliography. A beautiful, superior set, notably nicer than usually seen.
Read more: Hammond, J. R. R. Tolkien : A Descriptive Bibliography; Tolkien, "A Secret Vice" in The Monsters and the Critics.
London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1954. 3 volumes, measuring 8.75'' x 5.5''. Original full red cloth, gilt-lettered spines. In original unclipped (21s net) dust jackets with central One Ring motif in red, black, and brown. Red topstains. Folding maps printed in red and black at rear of each volume. 423, ; 352; 416 pages. Boards of fellowship only just a touch bowed. Typical offsetting to endpapers, a bit of sunning to topstains. Minimal soiling to jackets, with only light rubbing at spine extremities and some toning to spines of vols 2 and 3; blue ink trace on front panel of vol 2.
Near fine in near-fine jackets.
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