Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

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Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby Halcyon » Wed Sep 16, 2015 4:20 pm

I have a very early edition of The Hobbit. I am having trouble identifying exactly when it was published and what impression it is.

Are any of you versed in the publishing history and evolution of The Hobbit?

Thanks very much.
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Re: Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby White Shadow » Thu Sep 17, 2015 1:26 pm

Hello Halcyon. Welcome to TORC.

I'm moving this thread into the Books forum, as it is more likely to be seen and answered there.

To help with answering your question, might you be able to post some links to images of your book? (The title page, front cover, and the colophon page (that's the one with any kind of publishing information on it, before the title page.)

~*~*~*~*~*~
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Re: Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby Halcyon » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:03 pm

Thank you, I was looking for a books forum. Yes, I'll post photos. Many thanks.
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Re: Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby Halcyon » Thu Sep 17, 2015 7:21 pm

Here are some photos of my edition of The Hobbit. I would love to know what impression this is.

I can't seem to take a photo the book itself and get the correct color green. So I am providing a cover photo I found that is a good representation of mine (although mine is cleaner) but mine says Houghton Mifflin Company on the bottom of the spine. Otherwise, it is identical.

Also, not pictured, the book advertises Farmer Giles of Ham on the reverse of the half-title page, not also LOTR.

Here is a short link to photos on a private page on my blog:

http://wp.me/P39vRD-90
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Re: Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby scirocco » Thu Sep 17, 2015 9:39 pm

I'm afraid that page on your blog is so private that no-one can see it! At least I can't.

Can you maybe find a similar image on a Google search and post a link?

Also I'm a little confused. Can you not just look at the publishing information page in the book to see the edition and impression? Is it missing or something?
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Re: Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby Halcyon » Fri Sep 18, 2015 3:58 am

Sorry about the page. I edited it and it now requires a password.

Link: http://wp.me/P39vRD-90
The password is: jrr

There is no publishing information in the book. This is one way, I'm told, that this impression is identified. No pages are missing.

And remember, the photo of the cover is not my book. My book says Houghton Mifflin Company at the bottom of the spine. All other photos are my book.

Thanks!
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Re: Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby scirocco » Fri Sep 18, 2015 4:42 am

Looks like a nice copy. It's obviously a US printing of the second edition, probably either containing the British 5th or 14th impression text, if the binding is green as you say. If the title text on the spine is sans serif, it's fourteenth. If the text uses a serif font, it's likely the fifth.

There's a good Wikipedia article on how to spot the differences based on some other criteria. A few seconds on Google will lead you to it.
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Re: Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby Halcyon » Fri Sep 18, 2015 5:09 am

Thank you very much. It's a serif font. Everything else I found indicates it is a fifth impression. This was printed in Great Britain and published in the U.S.

You've been a big help. Thanks!
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Re: Early edition of The Hobbit...Can you help ID it?

Postby Halcyon » Sat Sep 19, 2015 6:22 pm

So what do you think a fifth impression (or, 2nd edition, first impression) in VG condition is worth? I've seen it sell on eBay for $260 and I see it listed (asking price) on book sites for well over $1,000.
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