TOLKIEN, JOHN RONALD REUEL The Lord of the Rings
comprising The Fellowship of the Rings, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King. London: George Allen and Unwin, (1966-66-66). The first printing of second edition (with "Second Edition 1966" on the copyright page with no other printings listed), with a typed letter signed affixed to the front pastedown. Three volumes, publisher's red cloth in original dust jackets. 8 3/4 x 5 3/4 inches (22.5 x 15 cm); with three maps bound at end of each volume. The letter affixed with clear tape to the pastedown but otherwise fine, jackets with chips to tips and extremities, short closed tear into one front panel but good overall, the volumes sound. With a letter of authenticity from Lion Heart Autographs.
The letter present here, on one sheet of Tolkien's stationery, is dated 2 January 1967 and presents an American autograph seeker with "three signatures for your son/Yours sincerely, [signed] J.R.R. Tolkien". The second edition of Tolkien's trilogy was needed to close a loophole in its American copyright, which had the book in the public domain allowing a pirated paperback edition to be been released in 1965. Excited at the prospect of this new edition, Tolkien wrote an updated forward and heavily revised and corrected the text.
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