The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien, Second Revised Edition, Three Volume Set, 1965

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Lord of the Rings. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1965. Second Edition, Revised, Eleventh and Twelfth Printings. In original dust jackets and original black cloth boards with gilt titles to spines and gilt and color embossed pictorial front boards.

Presented is the second American revised edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s classic The Lord of the Rings. Including three volumes, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King, the revised edition was the first to include the new foreword by Tolkien.

After the success of The Hobbit, Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings over the span of thirteen years, between 1939 and 1952. Its final length was an astonishing 1,192 pages. Allen & Unwin, his original British publishers, were wary of both the cost of printing and the viable commercial success of such a long fantasy tale, despite the popularity of its predecessor. To minimize their financial risk, they convinced Tolkien to publish the novel in three installments, and agreed that Tolkien would not receive profits until after the books had paid for themselves. Unlike The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings novels were not illustrated, but Tolkien did design the original dust jackets and his son Christopher drew the maps. 

The three books in The Lord of the Rings trilogy were first published in the following order: The Fellowship of the Ring, first published on July 29, 1954 in an edition of 3,000 copies. The Two Towers  was published November 11, 1954 in an edition of 3,250. The final installment, The Return of the King, was published on October 20, 1955 in an edition of 7,000.

A second edition, extensively revised and corrected and with Tolkien’s new preface explaining the origin of the novel, was published in 1965. The American publishers Houghton Mifflin Company published the second revised edition in Boston. These books are the second revised editions.

The Lord of the Rings is "one of [the 20th] century's lasting contributions to that borderland of literature between youth and age… [and] to that select list of books which continue through the ages to be read by children and adults with almost equal pleasure" (Eyre, 134-35).


Three volumes. The Fellowship of the Ring. Second Edition, Revised, Twelfth Printing. 423 pp. The Two Towers. Second Edition, Revised, Eleventh Printing. 352 pp. The Return of the King. Second Edition, Revised, Eleventh Printing. 440pp. Original dust jackets in good condition, with slight bumping on corners of spine. Protected in archival Mylar. Original black boards with gilt titles to spines, and pictorial “Eye of Sauron” gilt and colored embossed front boards detail.  Top edge yellow, orange, and purple. Each volume contains the original fold-out map in back, as issued. Boards are sharp and clean. No writing, marks inside. Housed in the original black slipcase, which exhibits a bit of rubbing to the cover label and to edges. 

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