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    Stephen King. The Complete Dark Tower Series, plus The Little Sisters of Eluria and The Wind Through the Keyhole. First editions, signed limited editions, all numbered 370 from limitation totals ranging from 500 to 1,500 copies. Each book has been signed by King, and by the illustrator, Michael Whelan, Phil Hale, Ned Dameron, Dave McKean, Bernie Wrightson, Darrel Anderson and Jae Lee for the different books, respectively. Twelve octavo volumes. Various paginations. Original cloth-covered slipcases and dust jackets, and are in fine condition (all but The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three are still in the publisher's shrinkwrap).

    [Together with:] [Collection of Eight Prospecti or Catalogues from Donald M. Grant Publisher, Inc.] Eight octavo pamphlets, each folded, or in wrappers. Most are opened, and with previous owner's address labels, a few with previous owner's written information. These catalogues heavily advertise books by King, with an emphasis on The Dark Tower. Near fine. [And:] The Dark Tower IV, an Excerpt from the Upcoming Wizard and Glass. [New York: Penguin Books, Inc., 1996]. First edition of this small excerpt, not available to the general public. Twelvemo. 59 pages. Wrappers. Text a bit toned, else fine. [And:] Robert Browning. The Poetical Works of Robert Browning. London: Smith, Elder, & co., 1896. Two octavo volumes. 748; 786 pages. Each volume with portrait frontispiece. Publisher's full green cloth, front boards and spines stamped in gilt. Spines a bit sunned, some rubbing, mild soiling to boards, hinges starting. Skewed. A good set. King's inspiration for this series, Browning's poem, "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" appears on pages 435-438 of the first volume.

    Roland of Gilead's long march to the Dark Tower began in 1970, when University of Maine undergraduate Stephen King wrote the first few chapters of what many consider to be his greatest and most influential work. For the next quarter century, King crafted his dramatic tale, taking inspiration from all points of the compass. Robert Browning's narrative poem "Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came" provided King with a central motif and a name for his tough-as-boot-leather protagonist. Other influences include J.R.R. Tolkien, L. Frank Baum, Clifford D. Simak and the work of filmmakers such as John Sturges, Akira Kurosawa and, most importantly, Sergio Leone. Leone's sprawling spaghetti western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, created the template for Roland - a distinctly Clint Eastwood-like figure - and for the alternately brutal and beautiful landscape through which he travels. It is uncommon to find a complete collection of the limited Dark Tower series with the same limitation number; it is even less common to find a collection with the included ephemera. Thus, this collection is of the highest interest to the Stephen King collector or any collector of modern literature.

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