Tuesday, September 18, 2007

In Praise of Sharp-Eyed Readers

So, I'd missed a comment by 'Johan' to a previous post in which he pointed out an omission I'd missed. On page 835, TN5 reads "Book I [of LotR] ends with his [=Frodo's] collapse at the Ford and Book II with him awaking already safe in Rivendell some days later". As Johan points out, there's a verb missing in the second clause: it should read "and Book II begins with him". While I'm at it, "awaking", which is technically a transitive verb, really shd be "awakening", which can be intransitive or transitive as the occasion demands.

It's too late now to get this fixed in the US edition, but I'll pass it along to the good folks at HarperCollins for the trade paperback set, for which I'm beginning to gather a list of errata.

The second proposed correction by Johan relates to an illegible word on page 833. The passage reads "4 mm = 4/10 [illegible] = 20 miles" (this being the eighth line on page Ad.Ms.H.16a). Johan proposes, very reasonably, that the missing word is "centimetre", since 4 mm does in fact equal 0.4 cm. Unfortunately, this is not possible, since the illegible word seems to begin with a descender (i.e., a letter with a down-stroke, such as p- or q- or g- or y-). In fact, it turns out to be -f; looking at this squiggle again with a fresh eye yesterday I was able to crack it this time. It's not a single word but three separate ones run together: "of 50 miles". Thus, the correct reading of this passage shd be

"in the LR map 1 centimetre = 50 miles [;] the distance from Ford to head of path down is 4 mm = 4/10 of 50 miles = 20 miles."

Many thanks to Johan for having sparked my re-examination.

And, while I'm at it, many thanks to Jeff, author of my favorite blog, for showing me how to turn web addresses (such as http://grubbstreet.blogspot.com/) into links (such as grubbstreet).

--John R.

current reading: THE INTELLECTUALS & THE MASSES, by John Carey (who currently has some harsh things to say about Mr. Nietzsche).
current audiobook: JOHN ADAMS, by David McCullough (having gotten to the part where Adams, as envoy to the Dutch, just opened the world's first American embassy)


Johan said...

I am glad to have been of help!

Johan said...

Hello again John, here is an additional thread (at another forum) that you could take a look at: http://forums.theonering.com/viewtopic.php?t=96666

Anthony and Jessica said...

Hey there,
I just posted this on the mythsoc list and thought I would add to the list here on your blog concerning errata:

Anyone else, perhaps John, seen this box set? Actually just the
edition that comes with the two history volumes? I have it here and am
rereading The Hobbit, as the art and contents of John's volumes have
inspired me to do so and will review it a bit with the vols, but two
glaring errors have appeared--not entirely that bad but noticeable to
those paying attention:

1) It states that the text of this edition is based on the 1995 Harper
Collins publication. On page 20 Thorin pulls out the map to show
everyone, and the usual paranthetical(sp?) reference
(Look at the map in this chapter, and you will see there the runes in
As we know from Doug Anderson's Annotated Hobbit this line has been
changed numerous times over the years to reflect the edition--it has
been glossed over for this one,--the map in no in the chapter but on
the inside covers, which are beautifully rendered but not in the
chapter as stated.

2) In the Barrels out of Bond Chapter on facing page 172 is the "Bilbo
comes to the Huts of the Raft elves" color illustration plate--my copy
has two of the same page--now this may be a glitch in binding and may
be unique to my copy but I am curious if others have seen this.

So that's all I got right now but am curious to thoughts...