The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Old Man and the Sea First Edition
Old Man and the Sea First Edition. Compliments of lfmbooks.

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.

It was bound in light blue cloth with silver lettering. The dust jacket is blue and brown with a scene of huts and fishing boats on the edge of a sea. The rear panel of the dust jacket has a photo of Hemingway.
Priced at $3.00.

First Edition Points:

  • Published by Charles Scribner’s Sons
  • Date on title page
  • Both Scribner seal and “A” are found on the copyright page
  • No mention of the Book Club or the Pulitzer Prize on the front flap of the dust jacket

Later printings have the same price so price is not an issue point but you need to be careful of book club editions which are stated at the bottom of the front flap. Some say the tint of the photo on the rear panel of the dust jacket is an issue point but most booksellers, myself included, disregard this as an invalid point.

Rear panel of the first edition dust jacket:

Old Man and the Sea First Edition Rear Panel

Fine, $3000-$4000.
Very Good, $750-$1000, perhaps occasionally available for a bit less.

First Editions of this book on Abebooks

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

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