A Farewell to Arms

Added June 20, 2016
  • A Farewell to Arms
  • Ernest Hemingway
  • Charles Scribner’s Sons, U.S.A. 1957

a-farewell-to_-arms_-reading-copy_-front_-cover_ I bought a couple of these sturdy Hemingway novels at a thrift store a while back as reading copies. They were a dollar a piece.

Checking just now on AbeBooks, a-farewell-to_-arms_-reading-copy_-spine_ I see that there were at least three versions of this book put out by Scribner’s in 1957: two hardcover versions and one paperback. The prices range from $1 to $135 plus shipping. Of interest, only two of the many hardcover listings have their original dust jackets and they are both in the 20 to 30 dollar range.

As I said, there are two different hardcovers: this one with a heavy denim cloth covering the whole book, and another one with a dark blue cloth spine and paper boards.

I think this copy would have been the first printing of this edition and would have come with a red and white dust jacket.

The other edition with the paper boards is, I believe, from the Modern Standard Authors series. These would have been later printings, (although there is no edition or printing information on the copyright page) and would have come with green and white dust jackets and an introduction by Robert Penn Warren.

The true first edition was published by Scribner’s in 1929, and fine unsigned copies sell for $10,000 — signed copies go as high as $25,000.

a-farewell-to_-arms_-reading-copy_-copy_ These 100% cloth bound books make great reading copies. They are affordable yet very well made. Even at 50+ years old, I am sure it could still stand a few more lifetimes worth of readings without falling apart.

I like the graphics on the front boards too. The title in gold leaf and the reproduction of Hemingway’s signature in silver make the book very attractive, despite the fact that it is missing its dust jacket.

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