Monday, November 29, 2021

illustrated by the author

I've received my Hanukah present: the new hardcover edition of The Lord of the Rings, with plates containing various illustrations, both polished and sketches, by the author; all previously seen, but most new to an edition of the book they depict.

Besides the illustrations themselves, this is a lovely edition: solid and compact, with a design that feels warm, in contrast to the coldness of the 50th Anniversary Edition, the next most recent I have (ten altogether, why do you ask? And I'm a piker next to some people). The typeface is a pleasure to look at: it resembles the hard type of the original edition without the fussiness of its design [see the page references at the end of the second page of Appendix A in the older editions for what I mean by "fussiness"], and there's judicious use of red for headers and initials. The volume itself is only 22.5 cm tall and about 6 cm thick, not too large or heavy to pick up and carry. (Remember that LR was originally published in 3 volumes not because it wouldn't fit into one but because that one would be too expensive for people to be likely to buy from a little-known author, but that point is no longer an issue.)

I think I'll make this my reading copy from now on; just from flattening down the pages (you all know how to open a new book properly, right?) and then browsing through it I've already re-read at least a third of it ...

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