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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The first edition of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was published in 1925 by Charles Scribner’s Sons in New York. Often said to be the greatest American novel of the 20th century.

First Edition Points:

  • Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons
  • Date on 1925 on title page
  • Scribner seal on copyright page
  • On page 60, line 16 is the word “chatter” (later states read “echolalia”)
  • On page 119, line 22 is the word “northern” (later changed to “southern”)
  • On page 205 , lines 9-10 is the word “sick in tired” (later changed to “sickantired”)
  • On page 211, lines 7-8 is the words “Union Street Station” (later states read “Union Station”)
  • On back of dust jacket line 14 has a lowercase “j” in “jay Gatsby” which is hand-corrected in ink (on most copies) or overstamped (a few copies) with a capital “J”.
  • Second state had the error corrected on the dust jacket.
  • First UK edition published by Chatto and Windus has “Published 1926″ on copyright page.

Value:
First State with Dust Jacket: Very Good, $100,000+, Fine, hard to say but maybe as high as $250,000
First State without Dust Jacket: Very Good, $2500-$3000 (This is what most collectors buy!), Fine, $10,000
Second State with Dust Jacket: Very Good, $50,000+, Fine, $100,000+
Second State without Dust Jacket: Very Good, $1000, Fine, $2500
First UK Edition with Dust Jacket: Very Good, $12,500, Fine, $25,000
First UK Edition without Dust Jacket: Very Good, $2000

First Editions of this book on Abebooks

References:
Bruccoli, Matthew J. F. Scott Fitzgerald: A Descriptive Bibliography. Pittsburgh: University of Pittsburgh Press, 1987. Revised Edition.

 

27 Responses to “The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald”

  1. 1
    Jed Hughett:

    This morning while going through some of my books and listing them for sale on Amazon I noticed that my copy of The Great Gatsby was dated 1925. On the slim possibility that it was valuable I googled “The Great Gatsby first edition”. This was the first site I looked at. I about fainted.

    # Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons – yes
    # Date on 1925 on title page – yes
    # Scribner seal on copyright page – yes
    # On page 60, line 16 is the word “chatter” (later states read “echolalia”) – yes
    # On page 119, line 22 is the word “northern” (later changed to “southern”) – yes
    # On page 205 , lines 9-10 is the word “sick in tired” (later changed to “sickantired”) – yes
    # On page 211, lines 7-8 is the words “Union Street Station” (later states read “Union Station”) – yes

    I have no idea where or when I bought this book, but I have had it on the shelf for years. And it is in good condition.

    Thank you so much for the information you have provided.

  2. 2
    Brent Winn:

    I have a U.S. first edition Great Gatsby. The book is in good condition. I am looking to sell this book. Is e-bay the best place to sell. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thanks.

  3. 3
    gutenburg:

    Jed:
    Yes, you have the first edition!

    Brent:
    Probably, unless you are a bookseller.

  4. 4
    Robin:

    Hi,

    How can you tell if your version is first state or second – first edition. I don’t have the dust jacket, but I have all the first edition points.

    Thanks.

  5. 5
    gutenburg:

    Robin: If it has all the points mentioned on this page it would be the first state. If not but it still has the 1925 on the title it would be the second state.

  6. 6
    David:

    To Gutenburg,

    Could you tell us wherein lies the difference between First Edition without dust jacket VERY GOOD and First Edition without dust jacket FINE?

    My father purchased a first edition without the dust jacket in 1967. Compared to what we see on ebay, it would appear to be in substantially better shape, as there is little or no wear on corners, on cover block title or on gold lettering on spine. It has all typing points mentioned.

    Would most appreciate your reply to —-thanks much, David, Nice, France

  7. 7
    gutenburg:

    David:
    Well, very good usually has moderate wear to covers, probably an inscription by owner, usually a few other minor faults, maybe some minor discoloring to some of the pages, very good is the average book or slightly better.
    Fine should be almost as new, perhaps lacking the crispness of a new book.

    It sounds like from your description that you definitely have a nice copy, perhaps near fine or even fine.

  8. 8
    litmajor:

    Anyone know how much Robert Penn Warren’s first edition copy would be worth, with his signature in the upper right hand corner of the first page?

  9. 9
    gutenburg:

    litmajor:
    I would think at auction it would go for at least $3000-$4000 without the dust jacket; if it has the dust jacket most likely over $100,000. It would definitely be more desirable than a first edition that was not owned by a fellow author.

  10. 10
    myra:

    I would like to know what my old book (The Great Gatsby) is worth

  11. 11
    gutenburg:

    myra: I would have to know more information to be able to help you. Do you have the first edition as described above?

  12. 12
    beth:

    I have a copy of The Great Gatsby that says the Charles Scribner’s Sons New York, hard back, published 1925, but none of the lines match with the quiz above, neither the first nor the second choice of lines above… what does that mean, does anyone know? The last page ends at page 159. Thank you for your attention, truly appreciated indeed.

  13. 13
    gutenburg:

    Beth:
    I think you have a later printing. If the date is not on the title page you have a later printing.

  14. 14
    Patrick:

    I have inherited this book.It matches all of the tests.It also has provenance.My great aunt was married to a newspaper writer in Boston,who knew Fitzgerald.Excellent condition.Sorry no cover.

  15. 15
    gutenburg:

    Patrick:
    Nice.

  16. 16
    Race Read Relish » Blog Archive:

    [...] we have to look at all the bookstores we see, because we never know when someone will throw away an original printing of the Great Gatsby with a mint condition dust jacket.  Yeah….moving on before you all start laughing at us and quit reading from boredom. [...]

  17. 17
    Katy:

    Patrick:
    I would like to get an “old” version of The Great Gatsby for a dear friend but am not surprisingly finding that the true first edition is well outside my price range. Can you recommend a version that is still interesting and valuable? Or perhaps advise me what to look for when shopping? What do you think of the facsimile reprint of the 1st Edition?

  18. 18
    gutenburg:

    Katy:
    Probably the Facsimile edition would be the best for gift. It would probably be my favorite edition, besides the actual first edition. There are are few collectable editions of this book. The Modern Library First Edition is collectable but it usually runs about $750 or more.

  19. 19
    Melissa Brown:

    I also have a The Great Gasby edition with 159 pages. The date is not on the title page. Could you tell me what it is worth?

  20. 20
    Heatherramdath:

    I think I may have a first edition with all of the points in excellent condition. Dust jacket is in impeccable condition, all of the points match, looks like a brand new book. But I have read that there were first edition replicas?? Is this true and how can I tell the difference? I’m concerned because the book is in such good condition. I have doubts that it is the real deal.

  21. 21
    Amy:

    My husband recently aquired The Great GAtsby from his aunt, and meets all the requirements you have posted. A book seller said he would purchase it for $1000 without seeing it. If I sell it to him for that price am I getting cheated in the price? He said they usually only pay between 50 and 55% of the actual price.

  22. 22
    Nikki:

    We have what seems like a first edition (1925 Scribner’s) but it is a “New Classics” book, introduction by Lionel Trilling and on the copyright page it is by the Vail-Ballou Press and “New Directions Books are published by the James Laughlin.” I am hopeful of selling the book, and am wondering the definition of this first edition (it has the “later changes” that you noted) and its possible worth. Good condition, no dust cover.

  23. 23
    gutenburg:

    Heather:
    Well, if is in that nice of shape it is almost certainly a facsimile/replica. If it is a facsimile edition it should have the letters F E L somewhere on the dust jacket flaps but there are other people making facsimiles of dust jackets and not all label them.

    Amy: $1000 sounds fair. It is true that booksellers rarely offer more than 50%. There is alot of overhead and it may take a while to sell. If you look on Ebay you will see that they usually sell for between $750 and $1500 depending on condition. A really nice one would probably sell for $1500 even on Ebay. Of course, if it has a dust jacket is a worth alot more.

    Nikki:
    It is a later edition, probably printed sometime in the 1940′s or 50′s Probably not worth more than $10.

  24. 24
    Meredith:

    I have what appears to be a copy of a first edition, second state Great Gatsby. My only concern is that the cover doesn’t look like anything I can find online. Instead of the embossed “The Great Gatsby” on the cover, it has “FSF” in script, embossed on a faded green cover. No dust jacket. Anybody ever heard of this? Everything else checks out–the 1925 date, etc.

    Thanks for your ideas!

  25. 25
    gutenburg:

    Meredith:

    I am not sure without seeing a few photos. Send me a few photos and I will look at it.

  26. 26
    Dan Pundyk:

    I have a first edition with all the points in very good condition signed by Fitzgerald on a laid in page shy the DJ. What would this be worth? Thanking you in advance to your reply.

  27. 27
    gutenburg:

    Assuming that the signature is authentic I would say a highend bookseller would charge about $15,000 (it would be $20,000 or more if the signature wasn’t laid in). But if you were to sell it yourself maybe $7,500 or $10,000. It’s hard to say. It also depends on how much provenance you have on the signature.

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