The Fellowship of the Ring
J.R.R. Tolkien, 1954-1955
TOLKIEN, J.R.R (1892-1973). The Fellowship of the Ring. London: Allen & Unwin, 1954. [With:] – The Two Towers. London: Allen & Unwin, 1954. [And:] – The Return of the King. London: Allen & Unwin, 1955.

First edition of the greatest fantasy trilogy of the modern era. C.S. Lewis wrote of it: “no imaginary world has been projected which is at once as multifarious and so true to its own inner laws; none so seemingly objective, so disinfected from the taint of an author’s merely individual psychology; none so relevant to the actual human situation yet so free from allegory.” Tolkien, a noted scholar of Old English, conceived the idea for his tales set in “Middle Earth” while in the trenches of the First World War; its immense influence has been felt ever since. This copy is the second state of Return of the King, with the signature mark “4” present on page 49 and lines of type sagging in the middle. Hammond and Anderson A5.a.i-iii.

Three volumes, octavo. 3 folding maps after Christopher Tolkien, printed in red and black. (Minor foxing to text block and offsetting to endpapers.) Original red cloth (vol. 2 with faint soiling to front cover); pictorial dust jackets printed in red, black, and gold (spine panels a little toned, a touch of soiling along folds). Provenance: B.D. Tarr (ownership inscription to vol. 1) – Foyles’s London (bookseller ticket to endpaper).
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