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THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING [lotr1]
Ace [A-4; first printing] 1965 paperback. Cover and title-page illustration by Jack Gaughan, 448 pages ,75 cent cover price. Condition is only Good: tight with 1/8" tilt, spine is slightly dished and several faint lines down middle; back cover has moderate wear including several finger-creases in middle; age tanning is mild to moderate and uniform (insides of covers are darker around edges - common for a book of this age.) No stamps, marks, or writing - a clean copy.
For other books by a different author, the condition I list might not seem so great, but given the popularity of this series and the fact that the Ace set had no 2nd printing - you will have difficulty finding any copies at all.
The true first paperback edition of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring - volume one of his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. The trilogy won the International Fantasy Award in 1957. This printing is the reason why the Ballantine editions carried the the statement that they were the only authorized editions. Ace took advantage of lapses in the copyright law and printed these without paying royalties to the author. While they later paid the royalties, the public relations damage was already done. I haven't seen a copy on sale for years, and even a poor condition copy is rare.