From Tolkien Gateway

HarperCollins (a subsidiary of News Corporation) is a publishing company. It was formed by the merger of American Harper & Row (which dates to the 1817 foundation of Harper & Brothers and was acquired by News Corp in 1987) and William Collins & Sons (which was founded in 1819 and acquired by News Corp,and merged with Harper,in 1989).

HarperCollins has held the rights for publishing the works of Tolkien in Europe and Canada since it acquired Unwin Hyman in 1994,and in 2021 it acquired the trade book division of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (long the official publisher in the United States). It now publishes the American editions under its William Morrow imprint (though some Houghton Mifflin Harcourt copies remain on bookstore shelves until exhausted) and the HarperCollins imprint elsewhere.

HarperCollins also holds an archive of the correspondence between J.R.R. Tolkien and Allen & Unwin, his original publishers.


Milton Waldman was senior editor at Collins and met J.R.R. Tolkien during a time he was in disagreement with George Allen & Unwin. Despite Waldman's initial interest in The Lord of the Rings, Collins was concerned about its length, and there were delays. In the spring of 1952, Tolkien lost patience and threatened to withdraw the manuscript; Collins decided that they must decline both The Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion.[1]

In 1956 Waldman unsuccessfully attempted to publish The Hobbit in Collin's Fontana paperback series.

In 1989 Grafton became a part of HarperCollins.[2][3]

Around 1994 HarperCollins bought Unwin Hyman succeeding the company as Tolkien's primary publisher. That year The Lord of the Rings was reset in electronic form for ease of editing and correction, but not without introducing some new errors, which not only remained in subsequent editions, but also leaked out to the American editions based on that setting. Some of them were corrected in the editions of 2002, 2004, and the 2005 reprint.[4]

HarperCollins purchased the rights for all books relating to The Lord of the Rings film series.[5]

Currently, it is involved in the production of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power series, in conjuction with Tolkien Estate, The Tolkien Trust and New Line Cinema, although the main producer is Amazon.[6]


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