For what must be the millionth time, I am once again reading The Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien. While I own and have read many different editions, the edition I'm currently reading is the hard-cover Single Volume Edition with Alan Lee's artwork on the dust jacket and a reminder about the "upcoming" New Line films (ISBN 0-7394-0955-7). I've read this edition (of which I own two copies) a number of times, and for the first time, I have noticed a mistake. Not a factual gaffe, nor even a spelling error. But rather an entire missing line of text. Is it a bad sign that I have enough of a 1,000+ page book memorized, that I notice missing lines? Given the vast number of people obsessed with The Lord of the Rings (some even more so than I am), it is likely that Houghton Mifflin is already aware of the error. Nevertheless, I felt obligated to write them, just in case. To them, I wrote:
On page 49 of the One Volume Edition of The Lord of the Rings, when Gandalf translates the inscription on the Ring, this edition has:
"...But this in the Common Tongue is what is said, close enough:
One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them.
It is only two lines of a verse long known in Elven-lore..."
However, the block quote is missing the first of the two mentioned lines: "One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them". It was only upon my dozenth or so reading that I noticed the mistake, and I double checked with several other editions of the book, just to be sure, and all the others do print both lines.
While I already own two copies of this edition, I suppose I will have to purchase another if this correction finds its way into the next printing.