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An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography The Lord of the Rings
1954-1955

Tolkien's Ring and Eye deviceThe Lord of the Rings is perhaps Tolkien's best known work.  Its publishing history is very complex, with a bewildering number of editions and variants being produced in the years since The Fellowship of the Ring first appeared in 1954.  An attempt has been made to show as much of the changes as possible, but some simplification has been necessary.

Details of the textual changes can be found in Wayne G. Hammond's Tolkien Bibliography.

Details of the Early Publishing History of The Lord of Rings can be found in the Articles section.

The Unwin Years
1954-1979 - Three Volumes
1980-1990 - Three Volumes
1968-1990 - One Volume

The HarperCollins Years
1991-1999 - Three Volumes
2000-Present - Three Volumes
1991-Present - One Volume
1999-Present - Seven Volumes

A new section is in preparation that will give details of recordings by Tolkien together with published extracts from the manuscripts and proofs of The Lord of the Rings.

All editions include Tolkien's illustration of The Doors of Durin, the inscription on Balin's tomb, various runes and the ring inscription in tengwar.  Each entry in the bibliography gives details of the maps and illustrations included in a particular edition. There are a number of versions of each map:

A Part of the Shire - The first version of this map was drawn by Christopher Tolkien and was first published in 1954.  It was redrawn by Stephen Raw in 1994.

The West of Middle-earth at the End of the Third Age - The first version of this map was drawn by Christopher Tolkien and was first published in 1954.  The map was redrawn in 1980 by Christopher Tolkien, omitting areas at the northern and southern edges of the map, adding names and correcting a number of errors.  It was redrawn again in 1994 by Stephen Raw.

Gondor, Rohan and Mordor - The first version of this map was drawn by Christopher Tolkien and was first published in 1955.  It was redrawn by Stephen Raw in 1994.

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