This is the third in a series of posts about the textual variants I’ve found in printings of The Silmarillion. In this post, I’ll update the previous results with data from a few more versions and then cover eleven variations in punctuation (not including hyphenation).

Seven New Versions

In the first post, we organised eleven versions into four paginations. I’m now going to introduce eight new versions into the mix which will necessitate an extra pagination.

The new versions not discussed before are indicated like this.

I’d like to especially thank Jeremy Edmonds for sending me a 1999 HarperCollins 2nd Edition hardcover for this work.

Pagination A

  • 1977 George Allen & Unwin 1st Edition hardcover (α)
  • 1977 Houghton Mifflin 1st Edition hardcover (α)
  • 1983 Houghton Mifflin 1st Edition trade paperback (β)
  • 1991 Houghton Mifflin 1st Edition trade paperback (β)
  • 1998 HarperCollins Illustrated Edition hardcover (ι)
  • 1999 HarperCollins 2nd Edition hardcover (γ)
  • 1999 HarperCollins 2nd Edition BCA paperback (γ)
  • 2001 Houghton Mifflin 2nd Edition hardcover (γ)
  • 2001 Houghton Mifflin 2nd Edition trade paperback (γ)
  • 2014 Mariner Books (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) 2nd Edition trade paperback (γ)

Note the additional 2nd Editions from 1999 onwards have the same text as each other and as the existing 2nd Editions with this pagination.

The 1991 trade paperback has the same text as the 1983.

Pagination B

  • 1979 Unwin paperback (δ)
  • 1983 Unwin paperback (2nd Edition) (ε)
  • 1990 Unwin paperback (2nd Edition 10th Impression) (ε)

Note that “2nd Edition” here doesn’t mean the same thing as the 2nd Edition text published from 1999 but I guess was just used by Unwin to indicate the minor revisions made to the text for printings from 1983 onwards (some of which were then made in the 1999 2nd Edition).

Pagination C

  • 2006 HarperCollins 2nd Edition hardcover (ζ)
  • 2007 HarperCollins Deluxe Edition hardcover (in slipcase) (ζ)

Pagination D

  • 2004 Houghton Mifflin 2nd Illustrated Edition hardcover (η)

Pagination E

  • 1999 HarperCollins paperback (cover from 34th printing onwards) (κ)
  • 1999 HarperCollins paperback (cover from some time after 58th printing) (λ)
  • 2013 HarperCollins paperback (λ)

From the 34th printing, the HarperCollins paperback changed covers and, I’m presuming, pagination. My first copy is a 58th printing. Some time after this, the cover changed again and my copy (the second on the list above) with this new cover is an 88th printing. While the copyright page still gives “1999”, the back cover says the image on the front cover is “© 2013”. This is not the same as the “2013 paperback” that is the third item on the list above however the two seem to have identical text and pagination. The only difference (besides the copyright page) is the “2013 paperback” is larger and has gold on the cover.

Updating the Previous Results

Above we introduced three new texts ι, κ, and λ. Where do they stand on the variants we’ve already discussed?

Locus 18. Leithien > Leithian

  • the Lay of Leithien — αγδει
  • the Lay of Leithian — βζηθκλ

(A168 B202 C152 D166 E197)

I can now confirm the HarperCollins 1999 hardcover (the first “Second Edition” hardcover) had this error (and can be considered the first issued γ text). The HarperCollins 2nd Edition paperbacks (κλ) fix this (as had later hardcovers).

Locus 20. asssembled > assembled

  • Noldor of Hithlum were asssembled — αβι
  • Noldor of Hithlum were assembled — γδεζηθκλ

(A190 B229 C173 D190 E225)

The 1998 Illustrated (ι) still has the error, but the HarperCollins 2nd Edition paperbacks (κλ) do not.

Locus 21. Hador > Haldor

  • the house of Hador stood firm — αβγιλ
  • the house of Haldor stood firm — δεζηθκ

(A194 B233 C176 D193 E229)

The HarperCollins 2nd Edition paperbacks diverge on this, the earlier one (κ) with Haldor, the later (λ) reverted to Hador. The reversion had to have been made between the 58th and 88th printing of the “1999” HarperCollins paperback possibly at the same time the cover was changed. My 88th printing, despite “1999” on the copyright page mentions “2013” on the cover so the change could be as late as that.

Locus 22. makers > masters

  • Smiths and miners and makers of fire they brought — αβδει
  • Smiths and miners and masters of fire they brought — γζηθκλ

(A196 B236 C178 D195 E232)

Confirmed as a defining variation between 1st and 2nd editions.

Locus 24. Forest > forest

  • looked, and descried the Forest of Brethil climbing green — αβγι
  • looked, and descried the forest of Brethil climbing green — δεζηθκλ

(A203 B245 C186 D206 E242)

The 2nd Edition HarperCollins paperbacks (κλ) are the same as the newer HarperCollins hardcovers (ζ), the 1998 Illustrated Edition (ι) following the original text.

Locus 27. the Mormegil > Mormegil

  • known … ere the end that the Mormegil was none other than Túrin — αβγδει
  • known …ere the end that Mormegil was none other than Túrin — ζηθκλ

(A217 B261 C199 D222 E259)

The new data confirms this as a change made after the 2nd Edition (γ). It appears in my 58th printing of the 1999 HarperCollins paperback (κ) and subsequent HarperCollins paperbacks (λ) and hardcovers (ζ).

Locus 30. besides > beside

  • three mariners who had sailed all the seas besides him — αδι
  • three mariners who had sailed all the seas beside him — βγεζηθκλ

(A248 B298 C228 D256 E297)

The 1998 Illustrated Edition (ι) still has the error, but the HarperCollins 2nd Edition paperbacks (κλ) do not.

Locus 31. nineteenth > twentieth

  • And the nineteenth king took the sceptre — αδι
  • And the twentieth king took the sceptre — βγεζηθκλ

(A267 B322 C245 D276 E320)

Corrected in the 2nd Edition HarperCollins paperbacks (κλ) but not in the the 1998 Illustrated Edition (ι).

Locus 32. twenty-second > twenty-third

  • For Ar-Gimilzôr the twenty-second king was the greatest — αβδει
  • For Ar-Gimilzôr the twenty-third king was the greatest — γζηθκλ

(A268 B322 C245 D276 E320)

Corrected in the 2nd Edition HarperCollins paperbacks (κλ) but not in the the 1998 Illustrated Edition (ι).

Locus 33. three > four

  • foundation of Númenor; and three and twenty Kings and — αδι
  • foundation of Númenor; and four and twenty Kings and — βγεζηθκλ

(A270 B324 C247 D278 E323)

Corrected in the 2nd Edition HarperCollins paperbacks (κλ) but not in the the 1998 Illustrated Edition (ι).

Locus 35. then > than

  • stronger then they — αβ
  • stronger than they — γδεζηθικλ

(A272 B327 C249 D279 E325)

The new texts (ικλ) have the fix.

Locus 37. Númeróreans > Númenóreans

  • splendour of the Númeróreans — αβγι
  • splendour of the Númenóreans — δεζηθκλ

(A290 B349 C267 D300 E347)

The 1998 Illustrated Edition (ι) has the error but it was fixed in the HarperCollins 2nd Edition paperbacks (κλ).

Punctuation Differences

In addition to the twelve differences in words reviewed above, there are eleven punctuation differences, not counting hyphenation (which we will deal with separately).

Locus 1. : > ,

In one place, an original colon has been changed to a comma.

  • in harmony; and he said: ‘These too in their — αβγηι
  • in harmony; and he said, ‘These too in their — δεζθκλ

(A42 B47 C29 D29 E36)

Loci 2 3 4 8 10 12. ; > :

In six places, an original semicolon has been changed to a colon.

  • to depart and follow Oromë; and these were known — αβγδεηι
  • to depart and follow Oromë: and these were known — ζθκλ

(A52 B61 C40 D42 E50)

  • thou canst not escape it; for Manwë is King — αβγδεηι
  • thou canst not escape it: for Manwë is King — ζθκλ

(A71 B82 C58 D62 E73)

  • that could not be undone; and Orodreth, alone of — αβγδει
  • that could not be undone: and Orodreth, alone of — ζηθκλ

(A83 B98 C70 D74 E89)

  • the peaks of Ered Wethrin; but southward where it — αβγδεηι
  • the peaks of Ered Wethrin: but southward where it — ζθκλ

(A119 B142 C105 D113 E136)

  • had at first two branches; Little Gelion that came — αβγηι
  • had at first two branches: Little Gelion that came — δεζθκλ

(A123 B146 C108 D116 E140)

  • of Caranthir son of Fëanor; there for a time — αβγδεηι
  • of Caranthir son of Fëanor: there for a time — ζθκλ

(A143 B171 C128 D138 E165)

Locus 6. : > ;

In one place, an original colon has been changed to a semicolon.

  • from the bridge of Menegroth: far and yet all — αβγι
  • from the bridge of Menegroth; far and yet all — δεζηθκλ

(A96 B113 C82 D87 E105)

Loci 5 26 28. , >

In three places, an original comma is deleted.

  • Dwarves were swift to learn, and indeed were more — αβγδεηι
  • Dwarves were swift to learn and indeed were more — ζθκλ

(A92 B108 C79 D84 E100)

  • the defeat and the sack, and had survived the — αβγδεηι
  • the defeat and the sack and had survived the — ζθκλ

(A217 B261 C199 D222 E259)

  • then scattered far and wide, then many might escape, — αβγδεηι
  • then scattered far and wide then many might escape, — ζθκλ

(A221 B266 C203 D227 E264)

Summary of Punctuation Changes

There are no changes from the original punctuation in:

  • the 1st Edition Houghton Mifflin paperbacks (β)
  • the 1998 HarperCollins Illustrated Edition (ι)
  • the initial 2nd Edition text (γ) used by HarperCollins hardcovers 1999–2006 and all Houghton Mifflin paperbacks and hardcovers after 2001 except the 2004 Second Illustrated Edition

All eleven changes are made in:

  • the 1999 HarperCollins 2nd Edition paperback (after sometime between the 34th and 58th printing) (κ)
  • the 2013 HarperCollins 2nd Edition paperback (λ)
  • and the HarperCollins 2nd Edition hardcovers since 2006 (ζ)
  • the ebooks (θ)

The 2004 Second Illustrated Edition (η) has just two of the changes: at locus 4 (one of the ; > :) and locus 6 (: > ;).

The “Unwin Paperbacks” (δε) have three of the changes: at locus 1 (: > ,) locus 6 (: > ;) and locus 10 (one of the ; > :).

Other than the partial changes made in the δε and η texts, the punctuations partition the texts cleanly into two groups. We’ll bring all this data together in another post.