For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway

The first edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway was published in 1940 by Charles Scribner’s Sons in New York. It was one of Hemingway’s more successful books and had a large printing run of over 100,000 copies. However it can be a bit hard to find a Fine copy.
It was published in oatmeal colored cloth stamped in red and black. Dust Jacket front panel and spine are black with red and white lettering. Rear panel has a photo of Hemingway. Dust Jacket was priced $2.75 on front flap.

First Edition Points:

  • Published by Scribner
  • 1940 date on title page
  • “A” on copyright page below copyright info
  • No Scribner seal (one of the exceptions to the rule!)
  • First State has no mention of photographer’s name in the caption of the photo on the rear panel of the dust jacket
  • Second State has mention of photographer’s name

First State: Very Good $500-$700, Fine $2000-$2500.
Second State: Very Good $150-$200, Fine $400-$500.
Signed copies generally sell for between $5000 and $16000 depending on the importance of the inscription.

First Editions on Abebooks and Ebay

Hanneman, Audre. Ernest Hemingway: A Comprehensive Bibliography. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1967.


  1. […] The first edition of The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway was published in 1952 by Charles Scribner’s Sons in New York. Though after it was published it was received with several awards, including the 1953 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature,  it was not printed in as high of numbers as the first edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls. […]

    September 8, 2008
  2. JJKypta said:

    I have an Ernest Hemingway, 1968 Edition by Scribner’s Sons, New York “For Whom The Bell Tolls” in excellent condition. It does not have a dust jacket. The hard cover is in dark and medium blue.
    I also have “A Farewell To Arms.” 1957. This book is in excellent condition, as well. . .Except for the back book cover and last page. A child had printed in it, but this can be erased. . .?

    Could you tell me if either have any value?

    Thanks for your time, in advance.

    September 8, 2011
    • gutenburg said:

      JJKypta: Perhaps $5 a piece. Later printings are not desirable except for reading copies.

      September 14, 2011
  3. Sandra Sneed said:

    I have an Ernest Hemingway, “For Whom The Bell Tolls”, 1940 Edition by Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, in excellent condition. It does not have a dust jacket. It is a dark blue hardcover with Ernest Hemingway and feather pen in silver color at bottom of
    cover. It has rough cut edges, with no marks anywhere. I am interested in the value of it. Would you know how much it would be worth or guide me in the right direction to find out?

    Thank you so much for your time. I would appreciate any advice you could give.



    February 4, 2015
    • gutenburg said:

      Sandra: It just a later printing. Maybe $5 if you are lucky.

      April 23, 2015
  4. aaron said:

    I have a for whom the bells toll by ernest Hemingway first ed in wonderful condention and was wondering what its worth and how I could sell it

    June 20, 2015
    • gutenburg said:


      It depends on whether or not it has the photographer credit on the rear panel of the dust jacket. If it doesn’t than it would probably be worth over $1,000 but if it does maybe $150. The book and dust jacket would have to be super nice to get prices like that though. I would put it on Ebay. That’s where I sell most of my First Editions.

      June 22, 2015
  5. aaron said:

    Oh and I have the dust jacket

    June 20, 2015
  6. aaron said:

    The dust jacket does have the photographer credit on it

    June 28, 2015
  7. willard t said:

    can you tell me why some copys of for whom the bell tolls first editions by date have an a and some dont does this relate to release thanks

    July 5, 2015
    • gutenburg said:

      The first printing had the “A”. Any copy that does not have the “A” is not a first printing. If it has the date 1940 on the title page it would still be an early printing from the same year.

      July 5, 2015
  8. willard t said:

    i hope you can help with a mystery book i have a copy of part 3 don Quixote dated 1885 but for the life of me cant find a thing about it hears all the info from book thought was relevant the history of don Quixote,translated by motteux,notice of the life and works of motteux by henry van laun with 16 original etchings by r.DE los Rios at bottom says john c nimmo 1885 on left page says ballantyne,hanson and co.Edinburgh chandos street London the book is hard cover off white with gold leafing on side book title also only on side in gold surrounded by brown box please somebody’s got to know something about this book

    July 12, 2015

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