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J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography (Winchester bibliographies of 20th century writers) [Hardcover]

Wayne G. Hammond , Douglas A Anderson

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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE Reference for the Tolkien book collector 6 Jan 2006
By J. M. Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Other reviewers don't apparently understand the purpose of this reference work. It contains all the minute details of the publication history of Tolkien's work. If you have an old edition of the Hobbit and have an interest in its rarity and presumed value then you need to look up the edition in this book. The odd thing about this bibliography is the adventure story it relates about the publication of these great works. It is an epic tale involving the incorrect spelling of the plural of Dwarf, exorcisig demons from a tape recorder by reciting the Lord's Prayer in Gothic, and fighting pirates of copyright infringement. Parts of this bibliography are actually interesting to read because Tolkien had such a hard time with publishers and copy editors. Raynor Unwin's story of reviewing the Hobbit as a little boy and then The Lord of the Rings as a young man is a marvel. Everyone, including the author, underrated the eventual popularity of the stories. The publisher actually developed a plan to publish the Lord of the Rings as a trilogy. If Part 1 did not sell, then Parts 2 and 3 would not be published. As a result, readers bought and read Part 1 and then had to wait up to a year for Parts 2 and 3 to be published! Can you imagine reading the first part of this tale and having to wait so long for the ending? This bibliography tells the story. If you are a Tolkien collector, you get a great bibliography along with great stories.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars expensive, but great information 3 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Although this rather pricey work is intended for booksellers, collectors, and librarians rather than for the general public, I believe that just about anyone who is interested in the writing and production of Tolkien's great works will find much here that is both informative and interesting.
5 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Detailed bibliography of Tolkien's own work 28 Sep 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This is a richly detailed bibliography of J.R.R. Tolkien's writings. (Keep that in mind-- this is not a bibliography of Tolkien criticism or scholarship-- only of Tolkien's own works). Each edition of each work is described in careful detail-- subtle distinctions in the cover, title page, etc. are noted as are variations in spelling, typography, errata and corrections. To be honest, I'm not sure how relevant this work is for the average Tolkien fan-- or even for the Tolkien scholar. It will certainly be useful for book collectors, used/rare booksellers, book appraisers, and others who are interested in the book itself as a physical object)-- but I think there's very little of interest here fans interested in broadening their understanding of Tolkien's fiction or for scholars interested in writing about it. Because of its very limited, very specific utility, I can't really justify a high rating for this. Don't get me wrong-- for what it is, it's thorough and quite excellent. But, I just don't think it's all that *useful* of a book to anyone but a small handful of bibliophiles
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