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Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien first edition 1980

Unfinished Tales by J.R.R. Tolkien first edition 1980


London: George Allen & Unwin, 1980


8vo., burgundy cloth, lettered with emblem in gilt to spine; upper edge stained a matching red; in the matching illustrated dust jacket with cover image representing a Númenórean helmet from an original design by Tolkien; pp. [ix], 2-472, with folding red and black map to rear showing the West of Middle Earth and the end of the Third Age; a near-fine copy, some mild toning and scratching to the upper edge; a touch bumped to spine ends; folding map lightly toned along the horizontal crease; jacket spine lightly sunned, with overlaid blank sticker to price on front flap. 


First edition.  

Left uncompleted upon his death in 1973, Tolkien’s collection of stories and essays concerning Middle-Earth were, like The Silmarillion, edited and published by his son Christopher. However, unlike The Silmarillion, which required comprehensive revising and editing before publication, the narratives here are presented as Tolkien intended them, with little more than the names changed (Tolkien had a confusing habit of trying out various names during the process of writing). Among many other excerpts, Unfinished Tales contains “Gandalf’s lively account of how it was that he came to send the Dwarves to the celebrated party at Bag-End, the emergence of the sea-god Ulmo before the eyes of Tuor on the coast of Beleriand, and an exact description of the military organisation of the Riders of Rohan” (Dust jacket). Christoper also redrew Tolkien’s map from The Lord of the Rings on a greater scale, reproducing the only map of Númenor that Tolkien made.

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