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Hi, I'm new, so if I do a mistake, people will change the place of the topic (or lock it)

I'm french, and after reading the LOTR in my mother tongue, I would read it in English.

And I have a question: What is the best edition? Is it Americain, English? The price is not very important (I have money Wink Smilie). I want, of course, a beautiful edition, big etc!

Thanks and bye!
There shouldn't be any difference in the text between the English and American editions. You can probably get an English edition faster. I'll leave it to one of the others to suggest a beautiful edition.
Is anybody familiar with the Harvard Lampoon's edition?
I've never read the Harvard Lampoon book (I hesitate to call it an edition) but my husband has and loves to needle me by quoting it Elf Rolling Eyes Smilie
I know that the text is the same in all editions, but about the quality, and the beauty...
What do you think?
With respect to text, today I would suggest the one volume Fiftieth Anniversary edition of 2004 (or its reprint in 2005 which contains more corrections). This was a fresh effort '... to produce a text as close as possible to what its author intended, as far as that could be conservatively determined.' Tolkien's publishers and the Estate agreed with the 'fresh effort' proposal, and Hammond and Scull got to work (they explain the edition in much more detail in their Reader's Companion)

It's also quite beautiful (has a slipcase) though a bit on the expensive side -- it's similar in look to previous one volume 'Red Book' editions, which I would recommend also for beauty.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. 50th anniversary edition. [Ed. with a note by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull.] London: HarperCollins; Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Beginning with late 2005 printings, the edition contains further emendations and a new, enlarged index by Hammond and Scull.

I only have one very small 'problem' with one of the notes from H&S, but it does not affect the tale proper in any case.
And do you think it's the HoughtMiffling 's edition or HapperCollin's edition which is the best? (sorry for the spelling).
About of course the fiftieth 's edition...

Thanks a lot!
They both look nice to me! Here's a look at one (deluxe)...

50th Anniversary

There's also a link on the page (the page you arrive at after clicking on this link) for another version of the 50th Anniversary edition.
And do you know if Houghton Mifflin has an edition of 2005?
Because I know that the 2005's editions are better than 2004's edition.
Or it has just the big one, blue and pages in gold?

Thanks for your great help! Wink Smilie
If there is for some ridiculous and pompous reason a difference between the American and English editions get the English. At least then you would be reading the books as Tolkien wrote them.

...Imagining Gandalf surprised - "Well I'll be knee-high to a Grasshopper".....
There are so many it seems. I personally think that you must decide upon which one on your own because you have your own taste, your own sense of what is beautiful. I would tend to go with one that has the most corrections.
My daughter purchased a boxed hard cover edition of the Hobbit at the supermarket of all places and it was wondrous beautiful. It also had a huge map of Middle-Earth and even a CD with the exerpt of Gollum and Bilbo in the cave testing one another with riddles. JRR himself is doing the reading and truthfully his way of reading that part terrified me. It never really bothered me when I read it but for some odd reason he made Gollum seem so diabolical and hideous that I had to stop at one point, couldn't force myself to listen further at that time. But oh the joy of hearing his own voice. superb.
Ok, Thanks all for your help!^^
Wow, I had no idea that all these beautiful editions even existed! Here we seem so innundated with the paperbacks printed after the movies.. Leelee, I'd love to know more about your daughter's edition of the Hobbit, it would be wonderful to hear the Professor's voice.
I will find out as soon as I am able. Yes it is a thrill, I hope to actually listen to the entire thing soon. I just could not get over that she got this boxed book at a supermarket that had no others, it was just thrown in the bin so to speak.And gorgeous, it was unbelievable. The map, fabulous, the book cover, thrilling and the CD, so unexpected and a treat.It is like being in the room with him, his voice is rather like I thought in my mind, a little elderly sounding, rich, full and you get the sense of gentleness and humour. I could tell he put all he had into the voices and knew the effect was hairraising. Wonderful
So I think I will buy the american's edition (of 2004, unfortunately...), and not english's editions of 2005 because they are too expensive...
It is blue and gold, and it's very nice!

I've been looking at editions and - besides the one volume 50th anniversary ed. mentioned above, two others intrigue me.

One is a paperback set that comes in 7 volumes (a boxed set). Has anyone seen this? Apparently each book (as they are divided in the table of contents in "trilogy" editions) is a book. (I'm not sure if the 7th book is the Hobbit or if it's the index/appendixes).

The other is a five volume "classics" edition with apparently green leather hardback covers, attached ribbon bookmarks and 22k gilding. the first volume is the hobbit and the fifth is the silmarillion. I can't deny that I want this... but the price I saw on was over USD$700.00 ! Somehow I can't justify paying more than $100.00 per book, even if they do have gold edging and embossing.

One thing I'd like to know is if there is an edition with a foldout map that's designed with a spine that takes the fold-out map into account. I have a 3 volume boxed set which would be otherwise very nice except that the fold-out maps pasted onto the back cover of each book are too thick for the spine, and over time the extra stress on the binding from the extra thickness of the map causes the glue on the binding to give way and the cover pulls away from the spine on the inside front and back covers. (At least, this is what my friend who worked at a university library said that his boss told him when he graciously took one of my books to be repaired by the library's repair department).
In addition to the Boxed Red Book, I have this green leather bound set from The Easton Press, which is not available outside the USA. How ever there is probably a comparable English version, from an English publisher. These are not my working volumes, for those I use the paperback editions and am now on my third set.
Hm, that looks like the "classics" edition I saw on amazon. However unless I'm mistaken 5 payments of $65.00 each does not add up to more than 700.00, so I don't know what those sellers on Amazon were thinking.

I would think that if you owned this kind of set that you would want to use it. Isn't the point of having a nice book that's well made so that you can feel it in your hands when you read it and hold it open flat and not worry about the spine breaking or the binding falling to pieces just because you opened it as far as books ought rightly to be able to open in order to be read comfortably in an easy chair by the blazing fireplace and a mug of hot steaming drink of your choice? Oughtn't you to have your children or grandchildren or nieces and nephews and cousins or neighbors or your lover sit by your side as you read it aloud to them, and oughtn't they to remember that the outside of the book was good enough to match the inside?

You pay the big money for the fancy edition so you don't have to buy 15 copies of the paperback version that will only fall apart on the 10th reading. You buy 15 copies of the paperback version to lend to your friends and to random strangers who mysteriously have never read it and won't return it.

Oh... and a side note:

If there is for some ridiculous and pompous reason a difference between the American and English editions get the English

Just remember - if you're a native speaker of American english - that those crazies on the other side of the pond think the second story of a building is the first story... and pay not attention when your computer spell check tells you that Gandalf the grey ought to be Gandalf the gray. (Atrocity!)
that those crazies on the other side of the pond think the second story of a building is the first story...

Also note that girls are birds, and birds are chicks at the other side of the pond.
but on this side, chicks are sometimes girls
I mostly hear of babes which annoys me.

I apologize for not finding out yet about Desi's copy with the huge map and cd of Tolkien reading. She moved away and her set is still boxed. I will try to get it still though.