The Eyes of the Dragon (Lettered Edition) - Stephen King

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Bangor, Maine: Philtrum Press (1984). The Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King. Hard cover. Deluxe Lettered Edition. pp. 314. No ISBN.

Rare Red Letter "E" Of The First Novel From Stephen King's Philtrum Press. 26 Copies Reserved For Familial Presentation.

Book Condition: Fine in red cloth-backed boards with 1/4 black spine and gold gilt lettering. Slipcase Condition: Fine in matching red cloth. Illustrated by Kenneth R. Linkhauser. 


When Stephen King decided to publish “The Eyes of the Dragon” in 1984, it was the first time his private press, Philtrum Press, had published a novel-length work. He had previously published “The Plant: Part 1” in 1982 and “The Plant: Part 2” in 1983, but they were more an epistolary novel as opposed to a complete novel.

This novel represents a deviation from the norm that Steve’s fans were used to.  It is a tale of archetypal heroes and sweeping adventures, of dragons and princes and evil wizards.  According to Stephen King, although he had written thirteen novels by the time his daughter Naomi had attained an equal number of years, she had yet to read any of them. She made it clear that she loved him, but had very little interest in his vampires, ghoulies, and slushy crawling things.

As a result, Steve sat down one night in his western Maine house to start this story, then called “The Napkins”, and eventually the tale was told. When Naomi took hold of the finished manuscript, her initial lack of enthusiasm gradually changed to one of rapt interest as the story kidnapped her. Later on, she came to her father, gave him a hug and told him the only thing wrong with it was that she didn’t want it to end.


Until Viking Press published a trade edition in 1987, this Philtrum Press limited edition was the only chance fans had for reading this story. The 1,000 numbered copies (black) were offered to fans by means of a lottery system in 1984.  250 numbered copies (red) were reserved for friends of the King family and were offered as Christmas gifts in 1984, in lieu of “The Plant: Part 3” which would be distributed the following Christmas.

There was 52 Lettered Copies (A – Z): 26 Red and 26 Black. Red Letters were reserved for familial presentation copies, and Black Letters were reserved for friends and close associates in the publishing industry.  I know of only one other Lettered copy that exchanged hands in 2006 and it was Red. Both Red and Black Letters were never offered for sale, and are equally rare.

This copy is Letter “E” and it was signed by Stephen King on the rear limitation page. Furthermore, the title page has a very warm personal inscription to the recipient and was signed and dated again in November 1984. In addition to the Signed, Lettered book, there is a single handwritten page that contains the 26 letters of the alphabet, with a partial list of names of recipients. The list is not complete, but contains the single word “RED” centered at the top of the page.  This page, in addition to the name of the original recipient will be given to the buyer, but is being withheld at the owner’s request to protect their privacy. This is the first time in nearly 33 years that this copy has surfaced. 


If you are interested in purchasing this book, its sale will be handled differently than previous listed items. I welcome interested parties to email me at with their HIGHEST OFFER before Wednesday, April  26th, 2017 at 12:00pm EST. Customers need to be registered at GW and Son website ( with their address on file. As serious King collectors are acutely aware of the rarity of this particular book, I will not be haggling over price. You are encouraged to bid exactly what you are comfortable paying, so there is no buyer’s remorse. After the deadline closes, all genuine offers will be sorted based on price, and the book will be offered to the highest bidder. If they choose to accept, the book is sold. If not, it will be offered to the next bidder, and so forth.

Best of luck to all interested parties.


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Hard Cover
Philtrum Press
Publication Date:
Fall 1984
Stephen King

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