Rare copies of the Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien: THE TWO TOWERS. Uncorrected Proof.
Original proof for volume 2 of LORD OF THE RINGS.
Published by Allen and Unwin, London, 1953. 354 pages. Bound in brown paper with paper name and price labels on front. Enclosed in a custom made red leather clam-shell box.

In terms of importance, there are very few Tolkien books which could compare with this proof. Allen and Unwin prepared a small number of these to help Tolkien with revisions while preparing to publish the First Edition of THE LORD OF THE RINGS.

Hammond and Scull are uncertain of the exact number of proof copies created, although they note 'a good guess' would be between 20 and 24 copies. This compares with the 3,250 copies of the English first impression, first edition.

This proof shows several obvious errors and may contain a number more in the content of the text. The proof is in nearly fine condition, with no  flaws except for a slight rounding of the tips.

Of particular note is the incorrect wording of the "One Ring..." poem. Tolkien had, at the publication time of this proof, not completed his corrections on the poem. It reads here:
"One Ring to bring them all and in the shadow bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the shadows lie.
"

The Contents page also contains a number of errors, the Synopsis is not present, and there is no date yet on the title page. I have no record of the extent of errors in the text.

This is a virtually irreplaceable book for a Tolkien collector who has everything.

 

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