The Lord of the Rings (Limited Edition)

J. R. R. Tolkien

Illustrated by Alan Lee

Preface by Alan Lee

Limited to 1,000 numbered copies

A story as epic as The Lord of the Rings deserves an edition to match. Featuring stunning new work by Alan Lee alongside all of his original illustrations, and strictly limited to just 1,000 sets each numbered and signed by the artist, this is the finest version of Tolkien’s beloved masterpiece.

‘The Lord of the Rings is the mountain that leans over every other fantasy written since.’
  1. George R. R. Martin

The greatest classic of fantasy fiction and one of the most celebrated stories of all time, The Lord of the Rings defined a genre and created a world that inspires and enchants to this day. This exquisite three-volume set is presented in a silver-blocked slipcase (lined with a hidden illustration) with a new art print exclusive to this edition and a pair of maps drawn by Christopher Tolkien, printed together and presented in a cloth-covered case. Each volume is quarter-bound in burgundy calfskin leather blocked in silver, with an illustrated inset label, silver page tops and a burgundy satin ribbon marker. The text itself – printed in black and burgundy – is the most up-to-date and academically rigorous available, and is accompanied by a new preface written exclusively for this edition by the artist.

Limited to 1,000 sets numbered and signed by Alan Lee 

Quarter-bound in leather with cloth sides blocked in silver and inset with illustration labels 

Circular limitation tip printed letterpress on Tintoretto paper hand tipped within a gold border 

Set in Dante with Testament as display  

1,504 pages in total over three volumes printed on Munken Pure paper 

Printed in black and burgundy throughout 

53 colour illustrations in total printed on Veltique paper tipped within printed borders 

57 illustrated chapter openers 

Endpapers printed with a design by the artist 

Also included is a Note on the Text by Douglas A. Anderson, a Note on the Revised Text by Wayne G. Hammond and Christina Scull, Tolkien’s Foreword to the Second Edition and Prologue, as well as Appendices and Indexes.

Silver page tops 

Burgundy satin ribbon markers 

Two maps printed together in black and red and enclosed in a case covered in blocked cloth 

Hand-made cloth-covered slipcase blocked in silver and gunmetal with printed illustration inside 

12˝ × 7¾˝ 

Separate print presented in a folder of Pergamenata paper 

Alan Lee’s work is synonymous with the worlds of J. R. R. Tolkien, having defined the visual setting of Middle-earth for a generation. In 2001, Peter Jackson’s film adaptation helped to introduce the epic to an even wider audience, and Alan Lee was the natural choice for a lead concept artist winning him the 2004 Academy Award for Art Direction. The majestic scale of the landscapes and the atmosphere he captures on the page – all in exquisite watercolour and pencil – make him the only choice to illustrate this, the ultimate edition of The Lord of the Rings. Lee’s original illustrations have been reproduced to the artist’s exacting standards, in a scale and quality never seen before, and have been augmented by several entirely new images, including enchanting endpapers depicting the One Ring long before it came into Frodo’s possession, three frontispieces, two revised versions of existing illustrations, a new image titled ‘The Grey Havens’ and an exclusive giclée print.

As well as 53 colour illustrations across three volumes, each printed on gorgeous Veltique paper and hand-tipped within decorative borders, Lee has drawn 57 stunning new chapter openers, each one with details appropriate to the chapter: for The Council of Elrond, the decorative flourishes flow elegantly, reflecting the grandeur and love of nature of the elves; for The Bridge of Khazad-dûm, the patterns have become geometric and angular, a nod to the steadfast character of the dwarves.

As much a celebration of Lee’s art as it is of Tolkien’s legacy, Folio’s The Lord of the Rings is the ultimate edition for any collector. Strictly limited to 1,000 sets, the limitation page has been tipped in by hand and numbered and signed by Alan Lee. Every set comes with a beautiful art print, presented in a translucent Pergamenata paper folder printed with a burgundy design. Furthermore, Lee has designed three intricate roundels for the title pages and six decorative borders to frame the tipped-in illustrations along with a frieze for the slipcase.

‘All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wander are lost.’

In The Two Towers, when Samwise Gamgee wonders if their extraordinary journey will become a tale told by the fireside, he imagines the story of the Ring read from ‘a great big book with red and black letters’; perhaps this grand edition, crafted with such love for the story, is what he pictured.

John Ronald Reuel Tolkien was born in South Africa in 1892 and moved to England with his family while still a child. Both his parents died when Tolkien was young and he and his brother lived with a relative and later on, in boarding houses. Tolkien studied at Exeter College, and went on to teach at Oxford. It was during this time that he published The Hobbit (1937) and The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He continued to work as a professor until 1959 and he died in 1973, aged 81.

Alan Lee was born in London, England, in 1947. He attended the Ealing School of Art to study graphic design, concentrating on the depiction of Celtic and Norse myths. Lee is one of the most celebrated living illustrators of myth and fantasy: a recipient of the Kate Greenaway Medal and an Oscar-winner for his conceptual work on Peter Jackson’s films of The Lord of the Rings.


You May Also Like

  1. Bestsellers
    A Game of Thrones

    A Game of Thrones

    George R. R. Martin

    Illustrated by Jonathan Burton


    A Game of Thrones is presented in a spectacular collector’s edition - the first release in the Folio Society series of George R. R. Martin’s ‘A Song of Ice and Fire’.

  2. The Farseer Trilogy

    The Farseer Trilogy

    Robin Hobb

    Illustrated by David Palumbo


    Strange magic and deadly conspiracies collide in Robin Hobb’s much-loved fantasy classic, ‘The Farseer Trilogy’. This special Folio Society edition features illustrations by David Palumbo.

  3. The Lord of the Rings

    The Lord of the Rings

    J. R. R. Tolkien

    Illustrated by Eric Fraser and Ingahild Grathmer


    Successive generations have been spellbound by the exploits of Frodo, Gandalf and their comrades as they journey towards Mordor to do battle with the Dark Lord Sauron.

  4. His Dark Materials

    His Dark Materials

    Philip Pullman

    Illustrated by Peter Bailey


    A magnificent Folio Society edition of a worldwide phenomenon. The award-winning trilogy His Dark Materials in a stunning fully illustrated hardback edition.