First Edition Points and Criteria for Scarlet Sister Mary

Year Published: 1928
Author Last Name: Peterkin
Author First Name: Julia
Publisher: Bobbs-Merrill
Original Price: $2.50
Pages: 345

"First Edition" is stated on the copyright page. Book has red paper labeled titles on front and spine. Some later printings do not have paper labels. First issue dust jacket is black with black lettering in a red box. It has no reference to the Pulitzer Prize. The dust jacket is extremely rare and adds most of the value to the book. Later dust jackets are red and have "Pulitzer Prize Novel" printed on the front in a script font.

Note: the so called "Airplane Edition" is NOT the first edition. These were limited signed editions that have an airplane on the front board and were produced after the first edition.

Scarlet Sister Mary won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

Picture of the 1928 first edition dust jacket for Scarlet Sister Mary.
Picture of the 1928 first edition dust jacket for Scarlet Sister Mary.

Picture of the first edition copyright page for Scarlet Sister Mary.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for Scarlet Sister Mary.

Picture of dust jacket where original $2.50 price is found for Scarlet Sister Mary.
Picture of dust jacket where original $2.50 price is found for Scarlet Sister Mary.

Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Scarlet Sister Mary.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Scarlet Sister Mary.

Picture of the first edition Bobbs-Merrill boards for Scarlet Sister Mary.
Picture of the first edition Bobbs-Merrill boards for Scarlet Sister Mary.

Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Scarlet Sister Mary.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Scarlet Sister Mary.

Picture of the first edition title page for Scarlet Sister Mary.
Picture of the first edition title page for Scarlet Sister Mary.

Picture of Scarlet Sister Mary dust jacket spine.  Photo courtesy of James Cahill/Rare
Picture of Scarlet Sister Mary dust jacket spine. Photo courtesy of James Cahill/Rare Books, inc.

The book on the left side of this photo is the first edition.  It has paper labels on the
The book on the left side of this photo is the first edition. It has paper labels on the front and the spine. The book on the right side of this photo is a later edition. It looks similar to the first, but it does not have paper labels. Instead, the titles on the front and spine are printed directly on the book.

This picture compares the first edition (left) with the Airplane Edition (right).
This picture compares the first edition (left) with the Airplane Edition (right). Although it has the same number of pages as the first edition, the Airplane Edition was printed on extremely thin India paper making it smaller and lighter for travel.

The Airplane Edition of Scarlet Sister Mary was signed by Julia Peterkin on a special
The Airplane Edition of Scarlet Sister Mary was signed by Julia Peterkin on a special hand-numbered bound-in page. According to Publishers Weekly (October 1929), only 3,000 copies of the airplane editions were produced. However, the highest number we have observed is 965.

This is the copyright page for the compact "Airplane Edition.  It is identical to the
This is the copyright page for the compact "Airplane Edition. It is identical to the copright page found on full-size later printings.

This is the title page from the compact "Airplane Edition".  It is similar to the title
This is the title page from the compact "Airplane Edition". It is similar to the title page found on the full-size editions, with the exception of the black design elements which are red in the full-size editions.

The compact "Airplane Edition" features the same decorated endpapers found on the first
The compact "Airplane Edition" features the same decorated endpapers found on the first edition and later full size printings.

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Disclaimer: This website is intended to help guide you and give you insight into what to look for when identifying first editions. The information is compiled from the experience of reputable collectors and dealers in the industry. Gathering and updating information about these books is more an art than a science, and new identication criteria and points of issue are sometimes discovered that may contradict currently accepted identification points. This means that the information presented here may not always be 100% accurate. If you spot a mistake, drop us an e-mail and we will do our best to investigate and correct it.