The first edition of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ by Lew Wallace was published in 1880 by Harper & Brothers in New York. It was published in blue cloth. It was later made into the 1959 movie starring Charlton Heston.
First Edition Points:
- Published by Harper & Brothers
- Date of 1880 on the title page
- 6 word dedication on dedication page reading “To the Wife of My Youth”
This was changed in 1883 to “To the Wife of My Youth Who Still Abides with Me”
Any copy without 1880 on the title page but with the six word dedication is a later printing but before 1884.
This does not mean they are second issues, it just means they are later printings.
Many of the copies offered as first editions, especially on Ebay, are not. But if you verify these points with the bookseller you can be sure you are getting the true first edition.
Value: Fine, about $1500, Very Good, about $500.