The LOTR Movie Site
October 18, 1999

The Millenium Edition Lord of the Rings
David Bass

The Lord of the Ringss: Millenium Edition is, just as the publishers put it, the book of the century. It is the first format of The Lord of the Rings to ever remain 100% to Tolkien’s original design. It is a definite must for fans and collectors alike. It is one of the most singular editions of The Lord of the Rings that I have ever seen, and it is well worth the $65.00 for a set.

Tolkien originally intended for The Lord of the Rings   trilogy to be a single volume; but it soon grew into a multi volume work which were split into three subsequent editions by the publisher. Allen and Unwin, the original publisher of Tolkien’s masterpiece in England, thought that it would be better to split the trilogy into three books because they were apprehensive about the success of the trilogy. Maybe it was a good idea, maybe it wasn't.

So, in 1954, The Fellowship of the Ring was published with two "books" in one. The original titles of the first two books, which made up The Fellowship of the Ring, were The Ring Sets Out and The Ring Goes South. In The Two Towers the two different books were called The Treason of Isengard and The Ring Goes East. The two books in The Return of the King were The War of the Ring and The End of the Third Age. The final book in this seven volume series is called Appendixes and contains the section found in the rear of The Return of the King. Each book in the Millenium edition of The Lord of the Rings are small with no dust jackets, but with decorative designs on the boards. All seven volumes come housed in a large slipcase.

Also included in the United Kingdom edition is a compact disc with Tolkien himself reading excerpts from The Lord of the Rings. I found this to be one of the most unique characteristics of this particular edition. It is very interesting to hear the master himself read poems out of his own great work of literature. I’m sorry to say that for some reason the American edition, put out by Houghton Mifflin Co, does not include the compact disc with Tolkien reading on it. I said it before and I’ll say it again, this set is well worth the money spent on it, and any true Tolkien fan will definitely want a set.

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