Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

The first edition of Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White was published in 1952 by Harper & Brothers in New York. One of the most popular children’s classics. Illustrated by Garth Williams.

First Edition Points:

  • Published by Harper & Brothers
  • “First Edition” is stated on copyright page
  • “I-B” code on copyright page
  • $2.50 price on front flap of dust jacket
  • Advertises Stuart Little on the back panel of the dust jacket and lack of mention of later books

All those published by Harper & Row are later printings after 1963.
Book Clubs have no edition statement except “Book Club Edition” on front flap of the dust jacket and no two letter code on copyright page. Any copy with a two letter code is a printing between 1952 and 1963.

The key to the printings is (first letter is month, last letter is year):
A = January
B = February
C = March
D = April
E = May
F = June
G = July
H = August
I = September
K = October (J was not used)
L = November
M = December

B = 1952
C = 1953
D = 1954
E = 1955
F = 1956
G = 1957
H = 1958
I = 1959
J = 1960
K = 1961
L = 1962
M = 1963

Value:
With Dust Jacket:
Very Good, $1000
Fine, $4500
Without Dust Jacket:
Very Good: $175 – $200

First Editions of this book on Abebooks




 

79 Comments

  1. Shana said:

    Just wondering about my family copy of Charlotte’s web that was copywrited, 1952. It does not say “first edition.” It says A-I, instead of I-B. What does this mean?

    July 9, 2009
    Reply
  2. gutenburg said:

    Shana:
    You have a January, 1959 printing, which is evidenced by the A-I code.

    September 25, 2009
    Reply
  3. Joanne said:

    I have a copy with the letters B-F and the dust jacket 2.50 on the inside right corner. Is this a true first edition

    January 14, 2010
    Reply
  4. Shelley said:

    I have a copy of Charlotte’s Web copywrited 1952 but has no mention of first edition or other letters to say when it was printed?? Any idea how how I would find out??

    Shelley

    February 13, 2010
    Reply
  5. gutenburg said:

    Joanne:
    It is a February, 1956 printing. Probably worth $20.

    Shelley:
    Most likely you have a book club edition or maybe a newer reprint.

    February 17, 2010
    Reply
  6. Taylor said:

    Mine seems to be a book club edition. How much is this worth?

    February 18, 2010
    Reply
  7. gutenburg said:

    Taylor:
    Book club editions are not worth more than a few dollars.

    February 18, 2010
    Reply
  8. logan minyard said:

    hi I have a first edition charlottes web it has it says first edition I-b but it does not have the dust jacket what is it worth with out it. and I was wondering if you might be interested in buying it.

    June 13, 2010
    Reply
  9. Tammie said:

    I just noticed I have a 1952 Hardback, library edition I think and its marked B-C. Than cover, blue lettering. I got it when our school library was sorting thru old books when I was a kid.
    Just curious about its value. Thanks.

    September 30, 2010
    Reply
  10. gutenburg said:

    Logan:
    It depends on the condition. If it is very nice it could be worth $250, if it is in bad condition $20-$50. I would list it on Ebay if I were you.

    Tammie:
    You have a February, 1953 printing as evidenced by the B-C code on the copyright page. But if it is Exlibrary without a dust jacket it really isn’t worth more than $4 or $5.

    October 11, 2010
    Reply
  11. Tom said:

    Hello,

    I have a 1952, Harper and Brothers edition of CW. It has the ad for Stuart Little on the Back, with the four reviews. This is clearly not a book club edition, and it states 1952 as clear as day. However, it does not state first edition, nor I-B, but rather B-F.

    Thoughts?

    October 22, 2010
    Reply
  12. Marilynn said:

    I have a 1952, dust jacket w/Stuart Little Adv., tan w/lettering, doesn’t say first edition, but has letters E-E. Is it worth anything? Thanks.

    October 26, 2010
    Reply
  13. gutenburg said:

    Tom:
    You have a February, 1956 printing.

    Marilynn:
    You have a May, 1955 printing.

    These early printings are desirable in dust jacket and probably would sell for at least $20.

    For reference:
    The first letter in the code is the month, and the second letter is the year.
    A = January
    B = February
    C = March
    D = April
    E = May
    F = June
    G = July
    H = August
    I = September
    K = October (J was not used)
    L = November
    M = December

    B = 1952
    C = 1953
    D = 1954
    E = 1955
    F = 1956
    G = 1957
    H = 1958
    I = 1959

    October 26, 2010
    Reply
  14. Brett said:

    I own a first edition, I-B, copyright 1952, book is in very fine condition. Dustjacket has the 4 S.L. reviews, also the $2.50 is intact inside front flap. Personally I would call the dj in very good condition. It has chips off of the top and bottom of the spine as well as along the top edge. There are 2 minor 1/8 inch tears on bottom edge of dj. I am very interested in selling and hope you can estimate its value, pics available if needed

    October 31, 2010
    Reply
  15. ericblen said:

    I have a copy with a nice dust jacket prtined May 1953. Can you please advise what I should expect when selling this?

    November 22, 2010
    Reply
  16. gutenburg said:

    ericblen:
    Maybe $20 or $30.

    November 23, 2010
    Reply
  17. Blahm said:

    Hi there, I have the first edition, first printing (I-B) The dust jacket is in okay condition, torn a little at the edges, but no pieces mssing) still has the price of 2.50 (with a small pen marking over it), and the book is in great condition except for 3 pages in the middle with what looks like a tiny coffee stain, about the size of the head of a nail. How would you classify this condition, value? Binding and everything else is perfect. Thanks!

    December 4, 2010
    Reply
  18. gutenburg said:

    Blahm: I would say $150-$250.

    December 13, 2010
    Reply
  19. gutenburg said:

    Brett: I would think you should be able to get $250, it might be worth somewhat more but that is what I think you could get.

    December 13, 2010
    Reply
  20. DANIEL said:

    I have a copy in fine condition, with dust jacket in fine condition. Copywrite says a-d with price of 2.50 on dust jacket and stuart little advertisement on back… Is it worth anything at all?

    January 10, 2011
    Reply
  21. Dan H. said:

    Hello –

    I have a NF copy of Charlotte’s Web with a VG dust jacket. Not stated first edition, however cpoyright date of 1952 is presented, with “A-M” alpha string. I assume it is a non-first 1952 printing. Note that DJ has a Harper Blue Ribbon Book eal on the cover. Can you give me an idea of printing and general value?

    Best Regards.

    DanH

    January 18, 2011
    Reply
  22. Amy said:

    I have a copy of Charlotte’s Web copywrited 1952 but has no mention of first edition or other letters I also do not have a DJ. It is signed by the illustrater Garth Williams. What do you think I could get for it…it is in good condition?

    January 19, 2011
    Reply
  23. Danielle said:

    I have a A-I edition, January 1959, how much would it be worth? I also have a lot of other old books, where I could I go to find out their value? Thanks for any helpful information.

    January 25, 2011
    Reply
  24. gutenburg said:

    Daniel, Dan H, and Danielle:
    All of these early printings are worth about the same $20-$30.

    Amy:
    Here are the current prices for Charlotte’s Web signed by Garth Williams:
    https://modernfirsteditions.net/abebooks/charlotte-web-signed
    The cheapest is $1000 but I think it isn’t worth quite that much.
    I would think it should be worth $250.

    February 24, 2011
    Reply
  25. darney said:

    i have a 1952 book w/dj. price on dj is 5.95. book has copyright 1952, library of congress catalog number is 52-9760 what does this mean

    February 25, 2011
    Reply
  26. gutenburg said:

    Darney:
    Based on the price it probably is a 1970’s printing.

    February 25, 2011
    Reply
  27. Stephen Kimberley said:

    I have a good condition 1952 Charlotte’s Web, 1-C, no dust jacket. Value?
    thanks
    Stephen

    February 25, 2011
    Reply
  28. Becky said:

    I have a copy of “Charlotte’s Web” published by Harper & Brothers, price $2.50, with an M-B code. From your reply above, this is a December 1952 printing. The pages and cover are in very good condition and the binding is tight. The dust jacket shows considerable wear and has a few small tears along the bottom edge. The book has the name of the former owner written on the front endpaper. Is this book worth anything?

    March 31, 2011
    Reply
  29. matt said:

    Is the Sept 1952 First Ed the earliest published version of this book or are there earlier bound copies that didn’t get circulated?

    May 16, 2011
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Matt:
      Yes, the September First Edition is the earliest. I don’t think that there are advance copies before September. Advance copies would have been printed before the Hardcover First Edition but I couldn’t find any for sale.

      July 22, 2011
      Reply
  30. jennifer said:

    i have a 1952 copyright edition from the library of congress is it worth anything?

    May 20, 2011
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Jennifer: Probably not. Unless it has the first edition points listed above it really isn’t much. Early printings are worth $20 to $50 in dust jackets but it doesn’t sound like you have an early printing.

      July 22, 2011
      Reply
  31. Leslie Johnson said:

    I have a very good con
    dition Charlottes Web 1952, only states printed in the United States of America. Dust jacket states book club but nothing inside says so. Tan & green hard cover in very good condition. Its also numbered 4081. What is it worth. I can send pictures. Btw, I’ve never opened it, just kept in my bookshelf for abour 25 years.

    August 29, 2011
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Leslie: Book Club Editions are not worth anything. Collectors are only interested in first editions.

      September 14, 2011
      Reply
  32. Leslie Johnson said:

    I also have a very good condition Stuart Little 1945, numbered 3276, also book club edition on dust cover. No browning.

    August 29, 2011
    Reply
  33. Marcia said:

    I have a first edition Charlotte’s Web (meets all criteria) but it is without the cover, does have the torn out front flap of the cover, and a section of the back flap torn out, and stuck in book – evidencing the $2.50 original price on front flap, and the mention of Stuart Little only on back flat. Is this book worth anything without it’s cover in tact? Binding is good, it is clean, several pages were folded down at the corner, but no rips.

    Thanks!

    Marcia

    August 30, 2011
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Marcia: I would think you should be able to get $50 for it, perhaps a bit more, if you put in on Ebay.

      September 14, 2011
      Reply
  34. Viki said:

    I have a 1952 hardcover charlotte’s web book newberry honor book, weekly reader that is printed upside down can anyone tell me anything about it?????

    October 3, 2011
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Viki: weekly reader books are not valuable and errors in binding are generally not valuable.

      October 12, 2011
      Reply
  35. I have a copy of Charlotte’s web – copyright 1952 with a worn, torn dust cover with a Harper Blue Ribbon sticker on it. The book is in good condition, no torn or missing pages. Any idea what it’s worth or how I should sell it? We have hundreds of vintage children’s books from my deceased mother-in-law’s house and we’re wondering what the best way is to sell them. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    November 26, 2011
    Reply
  36. This is interesting. My copy of Charlotte’s Web states the two letter code A-M on the title page. This would seem to be a 1963 printing, but it doesn’t say Harper and Row; it says Harper and Brothers and has no date other than 1952 on the publishing page. As far as I knew, all 1963 and later printings were Harper and Row? Maybe I’m just delusional! Please let me know what I have (It’s probably nothing but good memories, but it doesn’t hurt to ask!)

    December 25, 2011
    Reply
  37. Dorothy said:

    I have a 1952 Charlotte’s Web with the inside hard cover printed upside down and backwards.
    Would this be of value?

    February 18, 2012
    Reply
  38. jenna1 said:

    hi, i have a charlottes web book with dust cover,it does not state any letters apart from a library of congress number 52-9760, it does not state that it is the 1st addition . it has a $3.95 printing in the inner of the dust sheet,it states its published in 1952 and published by haper and row is this worth any thing, its in very good condition and it also has an illistrarion from stuart little on the dust sheet at the back of the book.

    February 20, 2012
    Reply
  39. Renay said:

    I am wondering the value on my book. It a weekley reader edition, Charlotte’s Web. Copyright 1955, by E. B. White.

    April 29, 2012
    Reply
  40. Cam said:

    Hello. I have the Charlotte’s Web novel that has a tan cover with a drawing of Fern feeding Wilbur in red and on the binding it says Charlotte’s Web with Charlotte coming down from the apostrophe, E. B. White, and Harper & Row all the way towards the bottom. It looks and smells older, but is in excellent condition. It doesn’t have any code on the copyright page, however. And it has no dust jacket. How much do you believe it’s worth?

    June 10, 2012
    Reply
  41. sean said:

    Hi I have a first edition charlottes web book copyright 1952 I-B it is in poor condition and is missing the d/j the binding is attached but not to the side of the book and the front cover is seperated from the book . in its condition is it worth anything ?

    August 23, 2012
    Reply
  42. Elle said:

    I have a copy in perfect condition, with dj, with no identifying letter our number; however it has a price of $3.95 on the dj. It is not a book club addition. Any idea what it might be worth?
    Thanks!

    September 16, 2012
    Reply
  43. gutenburg said:

    Patty:
    Probably not much. Later printings generally don’t sell for more than $10 unless they are fairly early.

    Charles:
    Actually, your copy would be a January, 1962 copy not 1963. The M stands for 1962.

    Dorothy:
    Probably not. If it was a first edition stated it would probably still sell but for less. Books that are misbound, etc. are generally less valuable not more.

    Jenna:
    It would be a printing from sometime in the mid to late sixties. It would only be worth a couple of dollars, maybe $5.

    Elle:
    Probably $5.

    October 4, 2012
    Reply
  44. Carrie G said:

    I have a CW, with the 1952 in the on the copyright page by Harper & Brothers. H-K. what year was it published? value? It is in average shape and was an elementary library book. There is not $2.50 printed on the title page. No dust jacket.

    October 8, 2012
    Reply
  45. Hello. I have the Charlotte’s Web novel that has a tan cover with a drawing of Fern feeding Wilbur in red and on the binding it says Charlotte’s Web with Charlotte coming down from the apostrophe, E. B. White, and Harper & Row all the way towards the bottom. It looks and smells older, but is in excellent condition. It doesn’t have any code on the copyright page, however. And it has no dust jacket. How much do you believe it’s worth?

    October 27, 2012
    Reply
  46. Steven said:

    I have a 1952 Charlotte’s web book club edition in perfect condition. Any idea what it might be worth?

    November 5, 2012
    Reply
  47. robyn said:

    Hi I have Charlotte’s Web copyright 1952 by E. B. White A-D I was wondering if it is worth anything? If so , About how much ?

    November 16, 2012
    Reply
  48. Christen said:

    My copy of CW is a very good with fair dust jacket code E-E. How can I calculate its value?

    November 24, 2012
    Reply
  49. Chris said:

    Hi – my Charlotte’s Web says copyright 1952, printed by Haddon craftsmen of Scranton for Harper and brothers. No date code. Would you be able to tells what edition this is? Thanks!

    February 6, 2013
    Reply
  50. gutenburg said:

    Carrie G.:
    It was printed in 1960. Not worth anything.

    Robin Lindahl:
    Your copy was printed after 1962 as that is when Harper & Brothers became Harper & Row. No value.

    Steven:
    A book club edition in perfect condition might sell for $5 if you are lucky.

    Robyn:
    Maybe $20 or $30 if it has a dust jacket but maybe not. Depends on condition, etc.

    Christen:
    Later printings like this one (1955) are fairly common and don’t go for much. Maybe $20.

    Chris:
    It is later printing, probably a book club edition.

    March 29, 2013
    Reply
  51. Julia said:

    What year did the face of the hard cover have the exact same illustration as the dust cover? Thanks for any help you can offer.

    April 30, 2013
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Julia:

      I think it was at least into the 1960’s before the book cover matched the dust jacket.

      July 25, 2013
      Reply
  52. Heather said:

    I have a1952 Charlotte’s Web no dust jacket is l-d which looks to be published 11/1954 it has a library od congress catalog # it is published by Harper& brother any value? Thank you in advance

    May 5, 2013
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Heather:

      A 1954 printing without a dust jacket wouldn’t be worth much, maybe $4 or $5.

      July 25, 2013
      Reply
  53. Kayce said:

    Hi! Today I found a 1952 copy of Charlotte’s Web with the dust cover – perfect condition. The dust cover has $5.95 printed. I know you’ve answered before regarding this book (Harper and Row, library of congress 52-9760). But, the inside of the book on the first page has somewhat of a cryptic inscription: “Carol – Remember, a good writer is a true friend. Hopefully, I’m a decent writer! hee” (hee is all lowercase, the handwriting is cursive and not especially nice btw).

    Now I know the writer isn’t hee, but I just wanted to make sure this wasn’t anything special?? Thanks in advance for your help!

    June 22, 2013
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Kayce:

      “hee” doesn’t sound familiar to me. Perhaps it was a aspiring writer, probably unknown.

      July 25, 2013
      Reply
  54. joe said:

    I have charolottes web marked i-b first edition 1952 #52-9760 library of congress catalog #godd condition value plz!!!!!

    March 23, 2015
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Joe: You might get $100 but it depends on what good condition is to you and if it has a dust jacket (it would be worth much more).

      April 22, 2015
      Reply
  55. Linda said:

    I have a Charlotte’s Web published by Harper & Row, Publ. NY & Evanston. Not a first edition in very good condition. Book itself is black with seated girl in red on cover – no pix on back cover of dust jacket. No letters on copyright page which just states 1952. Been trying to find year published. Any help??? Thank you

    April 3, 2015
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Linda: All copies from Harper & Row were printed after 1962 and are not worth a more than a couple of dollars.

      April 22, 2015
      Reply
  56. Cathy said:

    Hi,
    I have a copy of Charlotte’s Web. It was given to me in 1965. The copyright page says copyright 1952. The only other information is Library of Congress catalog number. There aren’t any other numbers or letters referring to printings. It has a dust jacket with a Harper Blue Ribbon Book label running across the spine. Just trying to estimate the worth. Thanks!

    June 1, 2015
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Cathy:

      Later printings aren’t worth much.

      June 22, 2015
      Reply
  57. Jenn said:

    I have a 1952 copyrighted Charlottes web. Letters a-k. No dust jacket. Its special to me. Just wondering what it is worth. Thanks!

    June 28, 2015
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Jenn:
      It would be a January, 1961 printing. Not worth much, Maybe $5.

      June 29, 2015
      Reply
  58. Jackie Ray said:

    As a class assignment in college, we were to write a children’s author abut a book they had written. I choose EB White regarding Charlotte’s Web. I was one of two students who received a response from an author. His letter is dated April 29, 1966 on “The New Yorker” stationery, thanking me for my thoughts about the book. It is written on a typewriter and signed in ink. Is this worth anything?

    September 22, 2015
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Jackie:

      From my research a letter might be worth about $300, maybe a bit more or less. E.B. White signed more books and wrote more letters than many authors. But it helps that it is written on New Yorker stationary because that provides more provenance.

      October 2, 2015
      Reply
  59. mary said:

    I have a 1952 with no first edition or letters, whats that mean, thanks.

    October 17, 2015
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Mary: Probably a much later printing if there is no letter code.

      March 18, 2016
      Reply
  60. Leon bowling said:

    How can you figure if your book is first edition can someone help me out…steps to figure it out…

    February 18, 2016
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Leon: Read the post above. Basically, it has to say “first edition” on the copyright page.

      March 18, 2016
      Reply
  61. Brittney said:

    My edition has the Stuart little on the back, it has I-B, it says first edition, copyright is 1952 by Harper and brithers, the only thing that doesn’t fully match is the price on the dust jacket is $3.95. Any idea on price?

    February 22, 2016
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Brittney:
      Most likely someone took a dust jacket from a later printing (maybe from the late 1960’s) and put in on this book. Since the dust jacket isn’t original you might get $100 to $200 depending on condition.

      March 18, 2016
      Reply
  62. Cathy said:

    CW, no dust jacket, 1952 copyright year, M-B coded (December, 1952 I am assuming)…what is it worth?

    March 17, 2016
    Reply
    • gutenburg said:

      Cathy: Not much. Even early printings are not worth much without dust jackets.

      March 18, 2016
      Reply

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