Lot 263
  • 263

Tolkien, J.R.R.

5,000 - 7,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Tolkien, J.R.R.
  • The Return of the King. Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1954
  • Paper
8vo, AN APPARENTLY UNRECORDED ISSUE OF UNBOUND PAGE PROOFS OF THE MAIN TEXT comprising 20 gatherings of 8 leaves, TWO PAGES WITH MANUSCRIPT CORRECTIONS BY THE AUTHOR (pages 135-36), numerous pencil corrections in another hand, TOGETHER WITH AN AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED WITH INITIALS ("J.R.R.T.") presenting the work, ownership signature on first leaf, several conjugate leaves separated, first leaf of gathering 17 torn, lacking final blank, some spotting and browning, occasional tears and chips

Catalogue Note

Bibliographical Tolkien scholarship (see www.TolkienBooks.net) suggests that 14 galley proofs of the main text were available in July 1954. These were followed by 35 bound copies of page proofs of the main text in November 1954. The present set is presumably an unknown interim state as it has never been bound. The text concludes, as with the published first edition, on page 311. Here 'APPENDICES' is printed on page 313 with remaining leaves in the gathering left blank. Although individual gatherings are signed lower left with numbers, the folded edges reveal the more traditional signatures of A through to U (although damage, here, has caused loss to the edges of gatherings R and U).

The autograph letter is addressed to "Dear J. and A." [Jeremiah (Jerry) and Áine Hogan] and Tolkien hopes that the this "uncorrected copy (except for a discrepancy on p. 145)" will "beguile you from more important matters... If you feel inclined to return these proofs... I could find them useful" (1 page, small 4to, no place, 23 December 1954). The Hogans evidently retained the proofs.

Hogan was awarded an MA in English from University College Dublin in 1923. He then went to Oxford and the University of Rome before returning to University College Dublin to join the staff of the Department of English. He was appointed a Professor in 1934, the Dean of the Faculty of Arts in 1947, Registrar in 1953 and President from 1964 to 1972.