A Descriptive Bibliography was written in 1993 by Wayne G. Hammond with the assistance of Douglas A. Anderson.
Anyone willing to collect books by Tolkien simply must have this book. It covers every known detail about the publication of his books.
Originally published by St.Paul's Bibliographies, Winchester, in 1993 and a second printing in 2002 by Oak Knoll Press.
It might in the beginning seem boring, a book full of publishing details, but it is actually an interesting historical account of Tolkien's trials and tribulations getting his works out to the public.
It shows us how hard it was to get your books published and to get it done proper. You'll see how Tolkiens proven masterwork The Lord of the Rings was believed to be a failure.
Since no one expected the book to do well, appropriate plans were not made to deal with the incredibly high demand for the book. Although Allen & Unwin had success with The Hobbit, and should have expected at least equivalent success with The Lord of the Rings, they could not have anticipated the frenzy of demand that developed, especially in the American mass market.
Although Hammond's mission in a bibliography is confined to publishing details, the story seeps through, and sections read like a journalist's account of a sailor making his way through the churning seas of publishing.
Next to the story the book is the perfect guide when you are going to buy books or try to find out which books our out there.
Then a book suddenly showed all i needed to know to go on collecting... making me into an Tolkien addict (04.04.04)
Collecting J.R.R. Tolkien books was restricted to all works on Middle Earth, like The Hobbit and Lord of The Rings, and here and there i managed to acquire a fairytale. Then a book suddenly showed all i needed to now to go on collecting... making me into an Tolkien addict.
When i started reading this book i was surprised to see that, allthough it is no more then a bibliography, it is a very interesting book, which reads very easely. Actually, it reads this well and is so interesting, that i finished it in one go the first time. And then later a second time... and now it still passes my hands weekly.
On the one hand this books tells the amazing stories about how many Tolkienia our out there, about how difficult it was for Tolkien to get things published, about how difficult it was for publishers to get it right, on how fans really were impatient for more, more, more... hobbits. And at the other hand this book is the perfect guide when scouring the internet trying to track down nice and scarce copies of Tolkien books. It helps identifying first editions. Any way this book is a must for every Tolkien lover and collector!