THE LORD OF THE RINGS The Fellowship of the Ring; The Two Towers; The Return of the King.

First edition with these illustrations. Russian language edition. Three volumes in two. Publisher's original gloss illustrated boards, with titles in white to the upper board and spine. Without dustwrapper, as issued. Illustrated endpapers and a map of Middle-Earth (in Russian). Containing twenty-four full-page colour illustrations in a medieval Russian style by Sergei Iukhimov. A very good set, the bindings square and firm with a little bumping to the spine tips, the cover illustrations and lettering bright and fresh. The contents, with light toning and wrinkling to the text pages due to the poor quality paper used in production are otherwise clean throughout and without inscriptions or stamps. A scarce edition.

Volume I contains The Fellowship of the Ring and the first half of The Two Towers. Volume II contains the second instalment of The Two Towers and The Return of the King. In the 1960s and 70s, Soviet authorities held a hostile view towards Tolkien's works, incorrectly believing there to be a hidden allegory of the Cold War within them. In 1966, Zinaida Bobyr attempted to publish heavily abridged editions of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, which were suppressed and forced underground. With Glasnost in the late 1980s and early 1990s however, Soviet authorities re-evaluated Tolkien's anti-industrialism as firmly anti-capitalist, giving rise to a flurry of Russian Tolkien editions, each with unique visual interpretations. Although published just after the collapse of the USSR in 1991, this edition firmly captures that spirit. Sergei Iukhimov, a Ukrainian artist and illustrator, provided twenty four full-page illustrations for this edition. Their style is unique, drawing on the Russian medieval miniature tradition, along with Orthodox Christian iconography, making them the subject of numerous scholarly articles. Despite a large circulation, this edition is now very hard to find and even more so in this condition.

Stock code: 23117


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Moscow: TO Izdatel.


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