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   An Illustrated Tolkien Bibliography

The History of Middle-earth
Original Retail Prices
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Christopher Tolkien Bibliography

I Think I've Got A Hobbit

Missing Images

Nasty Tricksy Hobbits

Printing and Binding The Hobbit

Songs for the Philologists

The Princess Hobbits

Tolkien Calendars

Tolkien the Esperantist?

Tolkien's Languages and Alphabets

Unpublished Manuscript Found?

Publishing The Lord of the Rings

The First Impression of RotK

VI  The First Boxed Edition

VII  The Readers Union Edition

VIII  The First Deluxe Edition

IX  Printing and Binding LotR

XIV  LotR - A Bibliography

XV  LotR - A Bibliography of Slipcases

The History of Middle-earth series

A Guide to the Contents

II  Prices on Dustwrappers

III  Original Retail Prices

IV  Print Run Sizes

The Guild Publishing Editions

VI  Shaping of Middle-earth Wrapper

VII  Peoples of Middle-earth Pulped?

Hardback copies
The price for each volume doubled over the course of the publication of The History of Middle- earth, from 12.50 in 1983 to 25.00 in 1996. Stocks of hardback copies were exhausted by 1997/98.  The prices changed in the following years:

  • 1983 - 12.50
  • Price label for The Book of Lost Tales 1 & 2, 1983 & 1984
  • 1985 - 14.95
  • 1987 - 16.95
  • 1988 - 17.95 - except for The Lays of Beleriand, which was priced at 18.95
  • 1992 (early) - 20.00
  • 1992 (late) - 25.00

Some HarperCollins copies, that appear to be first Impressions of the 1991 edition, are priced at 25.00 rather than at 20.00.  This suggests that that were actually printed after the price rise in late 1992.

Paperback copies
The price for each volume more than tripled over the course of the publication of the series, from 2.95 in 1983 to 9.99 by 1993, but prices have remained stable ever since.  The prices changed in the following years:

  • 1985 - 2.95
  • Sauron Defeated, 1993 PB - New price added on label
  • 1986 - 3.50
  • 1987 - 3.95
  • 1988 - 4.95
  • 1989 - 4.99, then 5.50
  • 1991 - 5.99
  • 1992 - 6.99, then 7.99
  • 1993 - 9.99

Due to the rapid escalation of prices in the early 90s there are a significant number of copies to be found with new prices and barcodes added on labels - one variant is shown here.  These were probably applied fairly soon after the price rise in late 1993.

Sauron Defeated, 1993 PB - New price added on label

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