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Collecting Highlights Archives Past issues of the Collecting Highlights column for Anne McCaffrey Fans. Posts are open for reply, so feel free to add a comment about what you own or would like to!

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Old Feb 16 2006, 11:25 AM   #1
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Default Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

In 1997 Anne's biggest book was published. Biggest book? Yes, A Diversity of Dragons is definitely Anne's biggest book . Just look at the first picture I put it in my computer chair and laid a (not too common) mass market paperback of a UK edition of Dragonquest in front of it to show you its size.


A Diversity of Dragons was published by Simon & Schuster Ltd. and was co-written by Richard J. Woods, a Dominican friar who teaches in Chicago and Blackfriar's Hall, Oxford University. An unusual combination at the least But take a closer look at what interests our friar on his site Dragonthorn and you'll understand a little better.

The two decided to write a book about dragons. It became sort of a compendium or reader's guide to dragons and dragon books in short story/novel form and if that sounds strange to you I advise you to hunt the book down and read it. If you love dragons you;ll love it So far so good. A special book if only the text was there, but no... that was not enough.

In stepped John Howe, a superb Canadian illustrator and artist, influenced by Celtic and Northern Arthurian myth and legend, who has illustrated many books and is most known for his illustration of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. He was the ideal illustrator and his participation made a super book on dragons into a stunning-super book! On his own site John says about this book: It's long been out of print, so snap it up... (the original editor I did the book for went bankrupt ages ago, owing me a truckload of money, so it will never be reprinted.)

And it is not only dragons, although there are an unbelievable number depicted as well as documented when the story evolves (no, I am not giving away story details). I do feel I need to share a drawing by John Howe of Anne as she looked when I first met her in person in 2002.


Nice huh? Dragons, I hear you thinking... So, isn't there stuff in that book about the Pern dragons we need to know? Well, not much as the book is about dragons in general although Pern dragons are mentioned and Ramoth is classified to belong in the group of the "Big to huge" dragons A thing that might be special to Pern fans is the drawing John Howe made, undoubtedly with instructions and/or comments from Anne, of Lessa and Ramoth after Hatching:


Yes, indeed; the book does not fit on the scanner glass For some odd reason the dragon -- well, part of a dragon -- depicted on the front and back end papers made a deep Impression on me and I couldn't write this without showing you that, too:


A Diversity of Dragons has the ISBN 0-684-82112-5 and as far as I know there has been only the one printing. It has 96 full colour pages.
Its original price was 16.99 UK pounds (about $ 29.70) but because it has been out of print for quite some time they could fetch more than that if in top quality. However, there are currently some cheap second hand copies (quality may differ) "up for grabs" at Amazon, and a very good copy can still be bought for about the original price. I can heartily recommend this book and think it might increase in value over the years especially because it is fairly sure (cf. John Howe quote above) that it'll never be reprinted!

I'll end with quoting the first paragraph of the book which will probably bring a smile to your face (when you haven't read it):

Quote:
"Are you the lady who writes about dragons?" asked the male voice on the other end of the phone.
Warily I answered I was. Warily, because, after the Dragonriders of Pern series became well known, I was apt to have some odd conversations with all sorts of folk. If the voice sounds young, I'm apt to inquire if mother knows he or she is phoning Ireland.
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Old Feb 17 2006, 12:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

Wow, I didn't realise the book was so huge! I remember seeing this book for sale in my bookclub back in about 2000 (I remember because of the house we were living in at the time). I would have loved to buy it but it was too much money, and then when I did try to order it they had run out already.

Thanks for the look inside Hansie!
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Old Feb 17 2006, 05:08 AM   #3
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I saw one on ebay recently and didn't realise quite what it was- if I had the spare cash...
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Old Feb 17 2006, 08:08 AM   #4
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

It is huge. Sits on top of my bookcase because the size is so different from everything else. I love the pictures, but haven't actually even sat down to read it
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Old Feb 17 2006, 11:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

*tsk tsk* It's well worth it! More than worth it! Butr if you wait any longer (a few years) it'll be a nice read to your kids! Maybe you have to skip a small part here and there, but the story itself is nice and intrigueing...
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Old Feb 17 2006, 06:04 PM   #6
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

All my bookshelves have adjustable shelves, so Diversity of Dragons has its place on the bottom shelf of one case along with my other "oversize" favourites

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Originally Posted by Cheryl
It is huge. Sits on top of my bookcase because the size is so different from everything else. I love the pictures, but haven't actually even sat down to read it
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Old Feb 17 2006, 06:39 PM   #7
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

Oh, my bookshelves adjust, but it seems silly to do so for one book. I haven't any other oversized ones in my AMC collection -- except for the Pern calendar which is even bigger!
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Old Feb 19 2006, 07:28 PM   #8
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

perhaps I ought to get a copy- it'll probably fit on the shelf with my textbooks!
I'll watch out for one- It looks great fun!
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Old Feb 22 2006, 10:49 AM   #9
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

It is Edith, it is an excellent read. By far not long enough but nice and full of humour
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Old Feb 22 2006, 12:55 PM   #10
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

Hey, I should point out that there is a sequel, written just by Richard Woods about the further adventures of Eppy. The title is Epiphanius Tighe and the Dragon of East South Water Street and it was published in 2000.

Read more about it at amazon.
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Old Feb 22 2006, 01:49 PM   #11
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

I completely forgot about that (but luckily included his website address).

What I also forgot was to tell that this book has been translated into French and thus is available in two languages. I wonder if John Howe knows...

In the French language the book is simply titled "Dragons"

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Old Feb 27 2006, 07:34 AM   #12
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

I got it!

I loved the pictures, and the way it is written!
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Old Mar 1 2006, 07:42 PM   #13
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

I have had my own copy for a few years now, I have read part of it, but got distracted and never got back to it. It has some very beautiful paintings in it, and the story is pretty good too. I have it on my coffe-table, with the other larger of Anne's books.
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Old Mar 2 2006, 01:14 PM   #14
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I won a copy of this lovely book in the McCaffrey Quest.
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Old Mar 2 2006, 03:49 PM   #15
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

I saw the book a while ago, probably prior to 2002 going by where we lived, in the bookstore. But passed it up because I didn't have the money. Then I completely forgot until it was gone!
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Old Mar 18 2006, 12:34 PM   #16
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

There has been at least 2 us printings of this book. We recently had a flood in our home which caused me to recheck all of my books and their printing edition. I had this one as a First Printing but alas it was a second printing. Since I have been trying to get first printing first edition books it was kind of a bummer.

Just wanted to let you guys know. Suzanne
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Old Mar 18 2006, 02:07 PM   #17
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

When I noticed this thread and then your post, I had to go and check my copy and make sure that it was in truth a first. YEAH !!! it is. Thank you for bringing this up, Suzy !!!
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Old Mar 18 2006, 02:29 PM   #18
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

Good to know Suzy, thanks!

And welcome to MoM, by the way!
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Old Apr 11 2006, 11:47 PM   #19
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lady Maelin
When I noticed this thread and then your post, I had to go and check my copy and make sure that it was in truth a first. YEAH !!! it is. Thank you for bringing this up, Suzy !!!

LOL - How funny. I had to do the same thing. Its on my desk...I see it everyday. Its been in that place for so long, I couldnt remember if its one of my many 1st editions. Sure enough...First Printing: October 1997

As for size....too big to fit on the shelves with the other large McCaffrey books...like the Atlas, People and Dragonlovers Guide. At least they fit...lol

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Old Jun 12 2008, 02:50 AM   #20
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White Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

Hi to all I do not own a copy of this one but it is on the web site you told about. About a week ago so.
Han.

I feel like a watch-wher replay so late at night, or early in the moring.
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Old Jun 12 2008, 08:46 AM   #21
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

Got one too !
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Old Jun 12 2008, 10:06 AM   #22
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

did you buy the one on eBay that had misspellings in title and authopr name? (Adversity of Dragons by Ann McCaffrey) If yes, then you had a great deal!
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Old Jun 13 2008, 03:28 AM   #23
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White Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

No I did not Hans. Just look it over from my Public Libary.

I did see it on amazon.com.

Ebay never try it yet.

Maybe sometime I well.
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Old Sep 4 2009, 01:27 PM   #24
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

Hurray! I just won a great copy of this on ebay for .99 cents (USD)! Although the shipping was $8. Its worth it! I can't wait to receive it in the mail! The illustrations look beautiful! This CH really helped me decide to bid or not! Thanks Hans!
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Old Jan 19 2014, 04:53 PM   #25
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

I believe I have the second copy only because Hans supplied a different ISBN that what shows on my book. Everything else is exactly the same. Still shows its a "First printing: October 1997", although Amazon shows a 9/12/1997 date.

How do we differentiate between what is supposedly a "copy" and what isn't? I actually show "A Diversity of Dragons" with ISBN 0-684-82112-5 with Simon Schuster as being a 3rd Printing edition per Booxter. When I entered the ISBN #0-06-105531-X for my copy in my Booxter database, it showed as the 1st Printing. How can we tell which is which?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuzyQ View Post
There has been at least 2 us printings of this book. We recently had a flood in our home which caused me to recheck all of my books and their printing edition. I had this one as a First Printing but alas it was a second printing. Since I have been trying to get first printing first edition books it was kind of a bummer.

Just wanted to let you guys know. Suzanne
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Old Jun 14 2017, 11:39 AM   #26
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

i really love big books, and the illustration is wonderful too! How is the picture to story ratio? like how many pages have text compared to the pages with illustrations?
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Old Jun 15 2017, 07:53 AM   #27
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Default Re: Collecting Highlight (12) - A Diversity of Dragons

I'd have to look that up for you
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