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TOLKIEN,  J.R.R., Roverandum
HarperCollins 1998 en Houghton Mifflin 1998, each xxii, 106pp, both editions rebound together in full green morocco  Title and author to spine in gilt, with author title and one dragon device from The Hobbit to upper cover and the same dragon device also to rear cover.  Externally fine, internally  clean, with both of the original dust jackets bound in at the rear of each volume. Thornton's Bookshop commissioned 25 numbered copies of the UK edition in this full leather edition in 1998 and afterwards  one copy not for sale with the letters WAM instead of a number and one with JSM on the green label pasted to the inside of the first front board of this double volume. THIS IS THE UNIQUE COPY WITH THE MARKINGS WAM  -- **** .
isbn'S 0395898714 and 0261103539 

£ 750.00

Hobbit forming 
Adam Mars-Jones reviews Roverandom, the story of an increasingly well mannered dog, by JRR Tolkien 
First published in the Guadian  on Thursday 1 January 1998 
Roverandom is an early fantasy of Tolkien 's, first told orally in 1925 to his children while on holiday, and subsequently polished over a number of drafts. In 1936 or '37 it was submitted to George Allen and Unwin, where it was assessed (by the chairman's young son) as 'well written and amusing'.
But by 1937 The Hobbit was already a great success: Tolkien's creatures had begun their long march into the communal consciousness, and have since clambered on their hairy little feet all the way to the top of Waterstone's recent list of the great books of the century. Understandably, Tolkien 's publishers wanted more about hobbits, rather than a story about a dog enchanted by a wizard, who travels to the moon and under the sea in his efforts to be released from the spell. What George Allen and Unwin eventually got, of course, was The Lord of the Rings. 
The most striking thing about Roverandom is nothing to do with the tale itself, but the timing of its publication. The book misses the Christmas market almost on principle, as if making a point. How many children's stockings have bulged over the years with Tolkien 's other non-hobbit texts, insipid stuff such as Farmer Giles of Ham or The Adventures of Tom Bombadil? A January issue for Roverandom announces an indifference to the seasonal regression of taste which makes people choose sweeter music at Christmas than at other times, brighter colours, simpler stories. 
Roverandom has been edited and annotated to within an inch of its life. The wife-and-husband team of Christina Scull and Wayne G. Hammond tease out a handful of allusions to myths and Eddas, but also explain where 'the Back of Beyond' is located, and when 'teatime' might be expected. Tiny quibbles are glossed with the thoroughness of footnotes to Shakespeare, though if you don't already realise that to be called Rover 'after' another dog can mean either 'in honour of' or 'later than', then you are unlikely to enjoy the passage, even with the explanation. 
Scull and Hammond suggest various anticipations of the mature Tolkien in Roverandom, not always convincingly. It is more in the illustration than the text, for instance, that the White Dragon on the moon here resembles Smaug in The Hobbit. Not every bleak landscape need foreshadow Mordor, nor every unfriendly spider be a sketch for Shelob. 
The invention in Roverandom is short-winded and the characterisation rudimentary. In his descriptions Tolkien brings off the occasional effect worthy of epic (the rising sun 'red as if he had been drinking hot wine'), but more often he looks back to the fin de siecle for his poetic palette: 'The moon rose up out of the sea, and laid the silver path across the waters that is the way to places at the edge of the world and beyond, for those that can walk on it...' 
There are sparks of humour in the story, of a schoolmasterly sort, as when a wizard from Persia, having lost his way, asks for directions and ends up in Pershore instead. Pleasingly, dogs in Roverandom establish friendship by exchange of insults, so that a string of derogatory remarks is followed by the comment: 'From which you can see that they rather took a fancy to one another at first sight.' 
In one uncharacteristic sentence there is a hint of apparently dissimilar writers active in the Twenties: 'Magicians and wizards are few and far between, and they know one another very well, and keep an eye on each other's doings too, not always being the best of friends in private life.' For a moment, Tolkien seems to be feeling his way towards the sort of titanic quirkiness characteristic of, say, John Cowper Powys or Sylvia Townsend Warner. In Powys's books, though, the shaman of Dorset attaches his pantheism to real landscapes, while when she wrote about fairies late in life, Warner avoided an overarching cosmology, preferring to invent a number of separate elfin societies with different codes and ways of life. 
Tolkien would hardly have been the writer we know if he had explored this tone of voice, and developed the presence of a narrator rather than eliminating it. But to produce his best work he seems to have needed the intricate framework of warlocks and elves, spells and prophecies, a trellis of cosmology to support the tendrils of his fullest fantasy. The Hobbit remains a masterpiece of narrative and a classic rite-of-passage story. By the time of The Lord of the Rings, the rites of passage are those of an entire cosmos, and the attempt to create a complete and consistent world tends to reveal more sharply what is absent from the vision: variety, humour and, above all, sexuality. 
The editors make much of the implied existence at this early period of what they call Tolkien's legendarium, his personal mythology of Middle Earth and beyond. In fact, at this stage Tolkien 's fantasy is hardly freestanding. There are obvious debts to Lewis Carroll (in the absurd flora and fauna of the moon) and even to E Nesbit one character, a sand-wizard, was originally called a Psammead, like the surly fairy in Five Children and It. The editors detect a prophetic Green consciousness in Tolkien's complaints about litter, but Roverandom isn't altogether hostile to the modern era. There are references to the News of the World and to Heinz foods (or at least to '57 varieties'). 
The underlying cosmology of the story is, if anything, one of its least satisfactory aspects. The moon is a properly astronomical body, but the earth is flat and edged with waterfalls. The relative positions in the hierarchy of being occupied by wizards, mermen and colossal sleeping sea-serpents is confusing, perhaps even undecided by the author. 
Roverandom was originally made up to console Tolkien 's middle son Michael, rising five in the summer of 1925, for the loss of a favoured toy, a black and white dog which was left on the beach and never found again. Losses are made good in fantasy, and the fictional Rover contrives to return to Michael (who appears under the name of 'little boy Two'). In fact, Michael gets back more than he lost, since he knew Rover only in his spellbound form as a toy, but has him returned as a live animal. 
But if Tolkien 's story is consolatory in origin, it is also didactic. Rover falls foul of a wizard in the first place because he doesn't say 'please'. He doesn't ask nicely. In the course of the story his manners are chastened by his mild ordeals, and when he returns to canine form he is a reformed dog: 'After he had run a mile in circles for joy, and nearly barked his head off, he came back and said 'Thank you!' and he even added 'Very pleased to meet you', which was very polite indeed.' 
The editors don't try to establish whether the tale of Roverandom had a reforming effect on Michael's manners, if indeed they were defective. In either event, most admirers of Tolkien will want to turn down this chance, with politeness and the proper 'thank yous', to explore his imagination before it came into its own.
 

Tolkien, J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel].
The Two Towers first edition, first impression   AND  The Return of the King. first edition,
first impression, 2nd state.  2 Volumes.

The two towers: George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1954, 353pp. 3250 copies were printed. With the errors on pp. 111 and 350.
(Hammond-Anderson p. 98) ) The return of the King, 1955, 416pp., First edition, first impression, 2nd state 7000 copies
were printed.  Both volumes Octavo, In  splendid new full green leather bindings with 5  raised bands, panelled spines
double-ruled in gilt, gilt ring and eye embossed devices to the front boards, Gilt inner dentelles. 2 black leather title labels
on the spines, top edges  stained red. which in The two towers has slightly run into the tops of the 3 first leaves. maps in
the rear. Texts slightly yellowed as usual very occas. Slight spotting. . no jackets.

there were 2 states of the first impression
of the Return of the King: (1) on p. 49 (4, recto) the signature mark 4 is present, and all lines of type sag in the middle;
(2) on p. 49 no signature mark is present, and all the lines of type are staight ( Hammond/Anderson page 86. ) £ 995
 
 

Inner dentelles, first paste-down

Tolkien, J[ohn] R[onald] R[euel]
The Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit. The Silmarillion 5 Volumes
2002 (2001 ?) /2004. One of the Folio Society's hand numbered limited edition of 1750 copies.
Quarter-bound in Moroccan goatskin leather, with sides of hand-woven pure Indian silk.
Illustrations drawn by Eric Fraser from original designs by Ingahild Grathmer (pseud. of the
Queen of Denmark). Gilded top edges, with ribbon markers. Calligraphy on spines and
slipcase by John Andrew. Slipcases bound in full Moroccan goatskin leather, with scalloped edges.
1328 pages in total for the Lord of the Rings. Together with The Hobbit (2003) and the Silmarillion
(2004 ) Illustrated by Francis Mosley, printed at the Bath Press, All volumes have the same number.
Payment for this title by bank transfer only. Forwarding and insurance by UPS in the UK, by DHL abroad
£ 1250


 
 
 
 
The Oxford Bestiarium [bestiary ]
Oxford, Bodleian Library, Ms. Ashmole 1511, Southern England, 12th Century
Published in 1982. Complete colour facsimile edition of the 244 pp. (105 + 17 fol.) and of the inner end pages in original size 280 x 180 mm. The all leather binding is a faithful replica of a Romanic binding, presently in the possession of Austrian National Library in Vienna. All folios are cut according to the original. + Commentary volume: Transcription and translation of the text into German by F. Unterkircher, Vienna,  Limited edition. with fantastic animal pictures on rich gold leaf. Bestiaries, illustrated books of animals, whose moralistic contents relate to selected biblical texts, were highly popular in the late 12th century. ther Oxford manuscript probably ranks among the finest examples of its kind. The magnificent codex, richly embellished with gold leaf, not only exceeds itself with its marvellous luminous opaque colour painting and clear depiction of animals, plants and human beings, but also in its predilection for serene symmetry, refined ornament and frequent use of carefully executed diaper-patterned backgrounds. The pictures are irregularly dispersed throughout the text. According to our modern conception, the animals often depict a surreal view of nature: a crocodile with a serpent's head and bird's feet, a horned panther with rather arbitrary colouring are but a few examples of an astonishing iconography which, far from naturalistic sketches, was based on the free interpretation of literary models. The book contains an overwhelming wealth of animal depictions: for example: A magnificent many-finned whale catches fish, while misguided sailors, thinking it to be an island, try to land on its back. All in all 130 miniatures within only 105 pages illustrate several chapters on nature and the qualities of animals; birds, snakes, worms, fish, trees, flintstones, as well as the nature of mankind. Of special interest is the illustration of Genesis in the beginning of the book, which is set amongst exceptionally enlarged and boldly narrative painted scenes. Former owners a.o. : William Wright, vicar of High Wycombe; William Mann; Sir Peter Mancroft; John Tradescant; Elias Ashmole; Oxford University £ 595.00
........... 

 

Every illustration can be viewed here: 
 
 

 


 

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