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The Return of the King
Page 49 Text - Third State
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The First Impression of RotK
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Unpublished Manuscript Found?

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Text on the lower part of page 49.

Third state.

Damaged text.  Signature mark '4' present.

This is the latest state of the text.  The lines of text are sagging or stepping down even more noticeably than in theecond state.  A figure '4' has appeared in the lower left hand corner of the page.

J.R.R. Tolkien: A Descriptive Bibliography by Wayne G. Hammond states that this is the earliest variant, not the latest.  This statement was based on the assumption that the damaged text would have been picked up by the printers and corrected.  This was not the case - all later impressions included the damaged text, although the signature mark was removed after the second impression.  Wayne noted this misinterpretation in issue 11 of The Tolkien Collector magazine.

Page 49 Text - Third State
 
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