|Editor:||L. Sprague de Camp.|
|Publisher:||Pyramid Books, New York.|
|Date of publication:||December 1963.|
Front and back cover by Virgil Finlay.
The book contains seven interior illustrations by Virgil Finlay. Each illustration is placed between a short introduction of author and story, and the story itself.
According to Robert Weinberg this book was the first all swords-and-sorcery anthology ever published. The original of the painting on the frontcover can be found at the art section of Robert Weinberg's web-site.
In 'Fantasy Collectors's Annual ~ 1974', Gerry de la Ree reports that Virgil Finlay was contracted in 1963 to do the cover for the Pyramid pocketbook. Finlay did a series of preliminary sketches, of which three black-and-white (so-called) roughs are reproduced in 'Fantasy Collectors's Annual ~ 1974'. Two of the sketches were finished by George Barr. Finlay also did three detailed full-color sketches.
In July 1964, a presentation copy was given to J.R.R. Tolkien by L. Sprague de Camp.
The copy owned by J.R.R.Tolkien is signed and dated by him as: 'J.R.R. Tolkien | from L. Sprague de Camp | July 1964'. The '4' in 1964 seems a corrected '2'.
On August 30, 1964, J.R.R. Tolkien wrote a letter to to L. Sprague de Camp, about his opinion of the contributions to the anthology Swords & Sorcery. Quotes from this letter were published in Mythlore 50. He also wrote a critique of "Distressing Tale of Thangobrind the Jeweler", one of the contributions to the collection, on a sheet of stationary from the Hotel Miramar, East Overcliff, Bournemouth.