London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1968. Pauline Baynes (cover illustration). First U.K. Paperback Edition, Twelfth Printing. Softcover. Very rare. Used - Good. Binding tight and square. Some creasing to spine. Text box is clean and unmarked, light toning/foxing. Edges have some foxing. Original illustrated card stock wraps; some wear to edges otherwise well preserved. 13 x 20.5 x 4.5 cm. 1077 pp. Item #9960
From our Instagram post for this book, dated 27 March 2019:
This is the first time Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings series was collected into a single softcover volume. Published by George Allen & Unwin in 1968, the book you see here is a twelfth printing circa 1973. Very rare. With cover art by British artist Pauline Baynes who is perhaps best known for her illustrations from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia series which were at point published by Puffin, the Penguin imprint for young readers.
In its obituary for Paulline Baynes, the Telegraph recounted how Tolkein first became acquainted with Baynes and her works:
>>> In 1948 Tolkien was visiting his publishers, George Allen & Unwin, to discuss some disappointing artwork that they had commissioned for his novella Farmer Giles of Ham, when he spotted, lying on a desk, some witty reinterpretations of medieval marginalia from the Luttrell Psalter that greatly appealed to him. These, it turned out, had been sent to the publishers "on spec" by the then unknown Pauline Baynes.
Tolkien demanded that the creator of these drawings be set to work illustrating Farmer Giles of Ham, and was delighted with the subsequent results, declaring that Pauline Baynes had "reduced my text to a commentary on her drawings". Further collaboration between Tolkien and his Farmer Giles illustrator followed, and a lifelong friendship developed.
During the war Pauline Baynes had worked for the Admiralty, and the experience gained there stood her in good stead when Tolkien asked her to draw the map of Middle Earth. Later, when she showed him her artwork for a poster featuring Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, the author nodded approvingly and murmured quietly: "There they are, there they are." <<<.