Pub Year

Title

Author

Publisher

Original Price

Pages

1988

A Brief History of Time

Hawking, Stephen

Bantam

£14.95

198

The true first edition is the UK issue. The copyright page says Published 1988 by Bantam Press, and has no statement of reprints. The ISBN is 0-593-01518-5. The dust jacket is silver and has a price of £14.95 on the bottom of the front flap.

The first state of the U.S. first edition was withdrawn and destroyed; then redesigned and reprinted. A few copies escaped. This first state entirely lacks the table of contents and dedication statement. It has a full number line (0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1) on the copyright page. Its ISBN (0-553-05243-8) is different than the ISBN of second state. The first state dust jacket is silver and has a price of $18.95 on the top of the front flap. The first state of the U.S. first edition and the UK first edition tend to have similar value on the market.

The second state of the U.S. first edition also has a full number line (0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1) on the copyright page. But it has a dedication on the copyright page, and it has a table of contents. The second state ISBN is 0-553-05340-X. It has a blue dust jacket and a price of $18.95 on the top of the front flap. The second state is much less valuable than either the first state U.S. edition or the UK first edition.

To make matters more complicated, we have discovered what appears to be a book club edition of the U.S. first state. It has the exact same silver dust jacket, but it lacks the price on the front flap, and it lacks the barcode on the back panel (see the photos below). Unfortunately, the book itself looks identical to the true first state. There is no book club emboss nor any gutter markings.


The first state of the U.S. edition also has an extra passage on page 34 comprising two paragraphs. This passage was removed on the second issue, and on all subsequent printings; and it is also not found on the UK first edition. The passage discusses a scenario with two freely moving observers, and ends with this conclusion:

Thus, in relativity, neither the position in space nor the time of an event is absolute. They both depend on the motion of the observer.

A Brief History of Time is classified in the following category: Science



To find the market value for this book, click on the pre-filled eBay, AbeBooks, or Biblio links to the right and look for comparable listings that have all of these first edition criteria. Want to hear a sample of A Brief History of Time? Check out our new Audible link on the right to listen to a portion of the audiobook.




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This is the UK first edition dust jacket.

This is the UK first edition dust jacket.

 This is the copyright page from the UK first edition.

This is the copyright page from the UK first edition.

 This is the dust jacket flap from the UK first edition.

This is the dust jacket flap from the UK first edition.

This is the dust jacket back of the UK first edition.

This is the dust jacket back of the UK first edition.

 This is the dust jacket from the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the dust jacket from the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the copyright page from the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the copyright page from the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the dust jacket from the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the dust jacket from the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the dust jacket back of the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the dust jacket back of the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the back dust jacket flap from the first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the back dust jacket flap from the first state of the U.S. first edition.

The dust jacket flap on the left is from what appears to be a book club edition of the

The dust jacket flap on the left is from what appears to be a book club edition of the first state of the U.S. first edition. The flap on the right is from the true first state of the U.S. first edition. Despite the clip, it is still evident upon comparison that the price is not where it should be on the suspect book club edition.

The dust jacket back on the left is likely from a book club edition of the first state of

The dust jacket back on the left is likely from a book club edition of the first state of the U.S. first edition. The dust jacket on the right is from the true first state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the extra passage from the first state of the U.S. first edition of A Brief

This is the extra passage from the first state of the U.S. first edition of A Brief History of Time. It gives a scenario of two freely moving observers with accurate clocks, and concludes that in relativity "neither the position in space nor the time of an event is absolute. They both depend on the motion of the observer."

 This is the second state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the second state of the U.S. first edition.

This is the copyright page from the second state of the U.S. first edition.  Notice the

This is the copyright page from the second state of the U.S. first edition. Notice the dedication at the top and the ISBN 0-553-05340-X.


Sam
December 27, 2009, 4:50 pm
How much would the second state of the U.S. first edition sell for without a dust jacket?
Lori Vix
March 7, 2010, 1:08 am
Does anybody know if the color of the dust jacket for the UK first edition changed or stayed silver after the 1st printing?
sumit gamare
August 5, 2010, 10:58 am
i like this
September 20, 2010, 2:27 am
Stephen Hawking is a legend! I loved his works 'A Brief History of Time' and 'The Grand Design'...
Tom
June 5, 2011, 7:59 pm
The second printing of the UK edition stayed silver.
July 4, 2011, 11:28 am
Three years ago I found one in a used book store which specializes in Sci Fi & Fantasy. They had a small science section with about 50 books. I had just started collecting Hard Covers at the time. Since I was borrowing a friend's copy, I decided to take a look. I almost didn't see it, since I was looking for the dark blue DJ. Just as I was walking away, I saw the title out of the corner of my eye. The silver DJ intrigued me, and when I saw the full number line, I decided to buy it. Cost me $12 worth of trade-in credit! When I got home I decided to look it up. Took some time, but I eventually found this and other sites, which confirmed it was a first state. I immediately bought some mylar for the jacket, and handle it as little as possible, keeping it in a lightproof bookcase. There used to be a copy for sale online for $1200, but it's no longer listed. It's only flaw was a 1 inch tear in the DJ. Mine is the best copy I've seen or heard about. It is practically flawless. The only flaws seem to be 2 or 3 small scratches? or indentations on the back of the DJ. No plans to sell it yet, though I would like to get it thumbprinted next time Hawking comes this way.
pooh
February 1, 2012, 6:55 am
really ..no words for hawking


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.
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