The first edition has an "A" on the copyright page. However, there is some debate over whether the Scribner's seal should also be present on the copyright page. Other Scribner's books published around the same time such as To Have and Have Not, The Yearling, The Dark Horse, The Last Tycoon, and Cross Creek all have both the "A" and the seal. On the other hand we have not seen or heard about a copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls with both. The photo on this page was sent to us several years ago, and we have heard feedback that the photo looks suspect because the seal is not on the bottom of the page like in other Scribner's first editions. So we will label the photo as "not verified" and continue to be on the look-out for a book that will prove one way or another, whether both the "A" and the seal should be present. So at this point the jury is out. That said, we should also point out that editions with just the "A" are NOT scarce. There seems to be plenty of them on the market.
The first issue dust jacket lacks a photo credit on the reverse under the photo of Hemingway. That point is well established.
For Whom the Bell Tolls was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist.
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.
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Picture of the 1940 first edition dust jacket for For Whom the Bell Tolls.
This photo was sent to us several years ago, and is not verified because we were unable to locate another book with the same copyright page. Some have said that this photo looks suspect because the seal is not on the bottom of the page like in other Scribner's first editions. So even though we are suspicious, we are keeping this photo on the page to keep you aware of the possibility that a book with both the "A" and the seal might exist.
Picture of dust jacket where original $2.75 price is found for For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Picture of the first edition Charles Scribner's Sons boards for For Whom the Bell Tolls.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls.
The first issue dust jacket lacks a photo credit on the reverse under the photo of Hemingway. The second issue states "Photograph by Arnold - Sun Valley".
This is the copyright page from the First Edition Library edition. Although it does have an A on the copyright page just like the true first, it also has several lines of text explaining that it is a facsimile of the first edition.
May 4, 2008, 6:57 am
Be careful. There are a lot of copies of For Whom the Bell Tolls on eBay that say they have all the first edition points, and then you see that the dust jacket has a photo credit on the back, or is missing the "A".
May 5, 2008, 9:48 am
I know the true first is supposed to have both the "A" and the Scribner's seal, but I have never seen one. The copies I have seen either have the "A" with no Scribner's seal, or the seal with no "A". Does anyone actual own a copy with both?
June 24, 2008, 8:29 pm
I have what would appear to be a first edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls but it has no dust jacket, has no "A" or no Scribner's seal. My copy looks like the Copyright above but without the "A", it is bound in a blue cover. It says Charles Scribner's Sons in it as well. I am trying to determine if it is a true first edition or a reprint. It does say Copyright 1940. Thanks.
June 25, 2008, 3:33 pm
If it doesn't have the "A", it's not a first. It is certainly a reprint. Not sure about the blue cover. Could have been rebound for a library.
June 29, 2008, 3:36 pm
Thomas, I have the exact same copy - blue cover, says copyright 1940, and has "For Whom The Bell Tolls" in gold letters. My copy is 507 pages long. I believe this is part of a reprint edition issued in 1966 that was part of a three-volume set that included "A Farewell To Arms." It is definitely not a first edition - which was only issued in beige.
July 3, 2008, 1:40 pm
I have one without a dust jacket but has the beige hardback with Hemingway's signature printed on it and everything. I know it isn't 1st edition because it says Charles Scribner's and Sons 1946 on the title page. Does anyone know if this could be a 2nd edition or what it would be? It looks exactly the same without the A or seal under the copyright.
July 15, 2008, 10:50 pm
Your reprint is not the second. I have a 1940 copy which is not the first and have seen a 42 copy.
August 4, 2008, 10:47 am
I have what looks to be a first edition...could use some help. I have no dust cover, The copyright page has an A but no seal...
August 4, 2008, 1:36 pm
The seal is a big question mark because I have only seen one book that had both. Every other book I have seen has one or the other. I'm beginning to think that the A and the seal was on some sort of advanced issue of the book and that the actual first edition had only the A. Thoughts?
August 23, 2008, 4:17 pm
I have two of these 1940 copies. One with the A, one without. Neither with the seal?
Two-part question: Is is it safe to assume the 1940 copy without the A is a first edition, second printing?
Also, as to the one with the A and NOT a seal, can't we just ask Scribner's? I used to be a news reporter, and that's exactly what I'd have done. But I don't know anyone at the publishing house.
September 6, 2008, 4:03 pm
I've been selling these on eBay for almost a year now and I have never, ever seen a copy with both the "A" and the "seal"... I also own the Hanneman book which is a comprehensive bibliography of all of Hemingway's works, and under the description for "For Whom the Bell Tolls" it only mentions the Scribner's "A" and NOT the "publisher's device" (the term the book uses for "seal"). In books such as The Old Man and the Sea, and Across the River and Into the Trees, the book explicitly mentions that the first printings have both the Scribner's "A" and the "publisher's device". I hope this helps! Also... if this is true, then where on Earth did they get this picture from! I suspect that the "seal" is photo-edited and is not real because the seal is usually at the very bottom of the page, and the spacing would not be accurate based on the size of the print in the photo. Of course this is just my guess, but any comments would be appreciated, so that we could all figure out the answer!
December 8, 2008, 10:38 am
The reason that there appears to be so many of "For Whom the Bell Tolls" (1940) on the market is that the first printing run was 75,000 copies, more than most hemingway novels. "The Old Man and the Sea" (1952) had 50,0000 copies while "To Have and Have Not" (1937) had 10,130 copies. The jury is not out, there is no "seal" and nobody will ever find a copy with one on it.
January 3, 2009, 7:43 pm
I HAVE A COPY PRINTED 1940BUT WITH NO A OR SEAL. THE BOOK IS IN MINT CONDITION. DOES IT HOLD ANY VALUE. I DONT COLLECT AND GOT THE BOOK WITH A BUNCH OF STUFF I PICKED UP AT A YARD SALE.
Lee Ann Flood
January 7, 2009, 9:04 pm
Hi, I was wondering what you found out about your copy of For Whom The Bell Tolls. I have the exact same copy no dust jacket,blue hard cover, no A, it says Charles Scribner's Sons and has a copyright 1940. Not sure where to proceed but was interested in what you learned about your copy.
January 8, 2009, 11:22 pm
Books without the A are later printings. They are not worth much.
January 17, 2009, 4:29 pm
I picked up at my temple's thrift sale a 1940 copy with the letter "A" without the seal. The board is the same as the one represented in the photo above. There is no dust jacket. I paid $0.50 for it about a dozen years ago. I am not a collector. At the time, I just thought it was an old book and I enjoyed reading Hemingway and thought it would be nice to have.
January 27, 2009, 6:32 pm
I have 1940 copy with the A and all markings - dust jacket is perfect match for original...but wait folks - found a tiny text box inside that reads This is a facsimile of the first edition published by The First Edition Library Renewal 1968.
February 6, 2009, 1:51 am
I have "For Whom The Bell Tolls". Thought it was a first edition print, simply because the copyright is 1940. Charles Scribner's Sons as publisher. The book is in very good shape, wheat or oatmeal linen fabric, on hard board. Sounds as though it looks like hundreds of others posted here. I researched and thought I had an original print. My book does have a handwritten posting on first
plain page, which reads "To a Swell Friend, Our wishes for a very Merry Christmas, signed Shirley & Sterling and dated 1940. Obviously a gift for someone on Christmas 1940. It has 471 pages all in excellent condition, no tears or creases. Outside binding has very little wear with no fraying, but is discolored and has some small stains on front. I have no 'A' or publishers emblem. Guess mine is not worth what I thought.
May 25, 2009, 11:52 am
I have a copy with the "A" on the copyright page. However my cover is different. It has a gray cover with red lettering a pictorial mountain scene running along the bottom. The spine has a bell below the title and is on a white background. Has anyone seen such a copy?
June 27, 2009, 3:24 pm
Not only were there 75,000 copies of the first edition printed, but the Book Club edition is identical to the true first printing of the book, same title page, same A on the copyright page, same paper, same covers, etc. The ONLY difference is the dust jacket. So books without a jacket could very well be a Book Club edition. (I believe there were 100,000 printed of the BOMC edition).
September 25, 2009, 7:47 am
I am considering buying a 1940 edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls - ideally a first edition - but the range of prices and editions is slightly confusing. Amazon for example has several copies ranging from 9-100$, but without pictures and very limited information, it is not something I am considering at the moment.
Taking this into account, I have a few question that some of you running/visiting this excelent page might help me out with. I fully realise that these questions are quite specific and that any value/cost estimate has to be very approx., ideally within a range, as condition and many other factors play a role:
1. How much is a true first edition 'A' worth without dust jacket?
2. How much is a 1940, not first edition worth, w/wo. dust jacket?
3. Are there any chances of ending up buying a fake edition if it says 1940?
4. There are 1940 editions for sale around 50-200$, is this thrust worthy?
Thanks in advance from a young Hemingway fan,
September 25, 2009, 8:22 am
1. I think you can get the true first edition 'A' without dust jacket for around $50. The AbeBooks link on this page is your best bet because the booksellers are very good about describing their books in detail.
2. I think later editions are worth less than $50, and I wouldn't bother buying anything other than the first.
3. If you only look for 1940 on the copyright page, then you might get a later printing. The first printing has the A, and that is what you should look for. That said, you should also know that there is a facsimile edition that has the A on the copyright page, but it also has multiple lines a couple of inches underneath the A stating that it is a First Edition Library facsimile.
4. In my experience I have not found this book to be particularly rare. So I am not surprised to to see copies in this price range. However I do think that you should expect that the condition will not be great. The most expensive first edition books have excellent first state dust jackets. And by the way, the first state dust jacket is something that really completes the book as a true first.
To put this all together in an example, I see a book on Abe from Ontario Canada selling for 141.74 that provides pictures showing it is a first edition book with an A, and no photo credit on the back. The copyright photo is to cropped to demonstrate that it is not a facsimile edition, but the description strongly indicates that this is a true first. So why is it cheap? First, the economy isn't great. Second, the dust jacket is in poor shape, Third, the previous owner's signature is in the book. So for 141.74 you would have a true first, but the condition of the dust jacket is not so great.
I hope this helps.
September 25, 2009, 2:53 pm
This was more than helpfull, thank you! Also thanks for the tip on AbeBooks, I will spend some time on deciding on which exact copy to choose. It will definately be a true first 'A' editon, but I might have to compromise on the quality of the DJ. Hopefully I can compensate that in the future when I hope to be the owner of a signed copy.
October 7, 2009, 1:19 am
People, What are your expectations for return on investment? Are you re-selling or looking to collect? Collector's should just get a cheaper copy of the first because as a reading copy it will be used like any other book. $50 is a little high in my experience, you can usually get your hands on a decent first,no DJ for 20-40. Now, if you plan on reselling or having your investment increase over time then it would behoove you to invest in a collector's quality book. The nice book's with nice Dj's are the only one's that have any real value. Often, in the antiquarian market the floods of old, ratty books drops peoples expectations for value, but as said the value of an antiquarian first edition is IN THE DJ. Also, there were 75,000 first editions of For whom the Bell Tolls printed, only around 5,000 have the scribner's A. And there is no such thing as both seal and copyright. Here is the standard for Scribner's first's: through 1929 same date on verso with no later printings or no later printings mentioned; 1930-73 'A' on verso; in later years, the form extended to 'A-O.OO (X)' with the numbers and letter in parentheses designating the date and location of printer. So, in summation, if you want a true first edition, you have to have an original DJ, condition of this DJ is key, even books with chipped or torn original DJ's are worth an investment. It really is extremely hard to find these books with original DJ's. BUT watch out for facsimile DJ's. Just do not buy this book without the DJ for reselling purposes. You will have a hard time making any money back usually. I found a first for $30 the other day and resold for $45. But, for $30, you can have a true American Classic. Well, Thats all FOlks. Cheers.
October 17, 2009, 2:06 pm
my copy doesnt have the A, is bound in red, and was published by the Blakiston company, what is its value?
October 18, 2009, 7:17 pm
Sorry to say that Blakiston is a reprint house. So your book is a reprint.
November 6, 2009, 7:46 pm
I have a book with an "A" on the copyright page, the $2.75 on the DJ, but it also has a photo credit on the back of the DJ. Can you tell me more about what I have. Thanks
November 12, 2009, 7:16 pm
I recently acquired a copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls, as well as a few of his other works. The book belonged to my great-great-great aunt and my mother gave it to me. My Mom is almost 80 so these books have been in my family a long time. My copy is bound in black with the gold gilt lettering. It has the seal, and on the copyright page there is a TU underneath.. no A.. The copyright is 1940 with mention of Charles Scribner's Sons. There is no dust jacket, but the book is in really good condition. There is some slight yellowing around the outside of the pages ,but no tears, no turn marks, no other damage at all, that I can see. It has 471 pages, and I can see some faded green on the binder. I would love to know what you think. I'm not a collector, and there is a lot I don't know. Any information is greatly appreciated! I'd be just tickled to know if it is the real thing
November 12, 2009, 7:50 pm
Never mind my previous posting. After further research, the "seal" is not the same as the picture, and under better light, the binding is dark blue, not black. There is an indentation of maybe a sail, or feather ( I can't tell) with Earnest Hemingway's name on the front of the book cover making me think I have a book club set that's just real old. Thanks anyway!
November 23, 2009, 7:58 pm
This was my previous post. "I have a book with an "A" on the copyright page, the $2.75 on the DJ, but it also has a photo credit on the back of the DJ. Can you tell me more about what I have. Thanks"
November 23, 2009, 11:17 pm
Are there 1940 copies that aren't first editions? My 1940 copy has neither the 'A' or the Scribner's Seal on the copyright page. Does anyone know what edition this is?
November 23, 2009, 11:35 pm
Sounds like you have a first edition with the second state dust jacket.
November 24, 2009, 6:26 am
Thanks Tom. Any idea of value range. I am interested in selling it. Thanks
November 30, 2009, 8:54 pm
I took a quick look at some first editions with the seconds state DJ. They currently sell between $100 and $250. What yours is worth will depend on the condition. You might want to take a look for yourself by clicking on the Find Book button in the AbeBooks.com panel on the right side of this page.
December 6, 2009, 5:59 pm
I just found a copy of the book with no A, no seal and no dust jacket. The oatmeal cover with the red and black blocking on the spine sounds like a close match to other first editions described. The copyright page only says 1940, it's in pretty good shape, though there is a previous owner's name and address inscribed from 1941 on the inside. Any clues on value range?
December 6, 2009, 8:08 pm
Sorry, but there are lots of books without jackets, but with the "A" for sale. Many are listing for around $100. Your book would be less valuable than these because it lacks the "A". It might be worth $20. The books that go for larger dollars are first editions in excellent condition, first state dust jackets. If such a book is signed, then it goes for really big bucks.
January 11, 2010, 3:16 pm
My Great Aunt gave me what she said is a first edition of Hemingway's For Whom the Bell Tolls still in its original case that is enclosed in plastic. She told me never to open it. The book is in pristine condition. All I can see is that the back cover of the hard case has a picture of Hemingway without a photo credit. Could anyone please tell me what the book's value would be if it is in fact a first edition? Thank you.
January 11, 2010, 3:54 pm
If it is in a case and in plastic, I bet you have a First Edition Library edition. A copy still in shrink-wrap can be purchased for less than $50 on AbeBooks.com. If I am right, and you open it up, the copyright page will have a 1968 copyright renewal and state that it is a facsimile copy.
February 9, 2010, 4:58 pm
I have a 1st Editiion with 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!)
it is lacking a dust jacket and autograph - what is the potential value? I picked it up at a discarded book sale
It does have 3 stamps in it two stating it was discarded and one stating the name of the club Library that is was discarded from - I can provided images if necessary
March 7, 2010, 11:36 am
I have a copy of this book - no dust cover, 1940, with the "A" but no seal. It is beige in color. Is this a first edition?
April 10, 2010, 11:37 am
¿and the first edition in soft cover of "For Whom..."? ¿somebody nows?
August 25, 2010, 9:23 pm
I have owned six copies of the First Editon and they all have the A but do not have the scribner seal. I even have a First Editon Library when the Company was in Shelton Ct, before being purchased by Easton Press and it does not have a seal on it either. I have looked at all of the hemingway copies on EBay for the last two years nad have never seen one with the scribner seal. You have piqued my curiosity now and I shall have to do further research to substantiaite or disprove that a seal ever did exist on a first edition first printing!!! Many thanks!
October 6, 2010, 11:29 pm
I have a copy that i found that has the copywright 1940 and under Charles Scribner's Sons it say TL is this a find or no? I guess it starts with A, I find old stuff sometimes and was wondering about what i have.
October 6, 2010, 11:30 pm
Do the copies start alphabetically?
October 6, 2010, 11:42 pm
Where can i find a seal on the book?
October 13, 2010, 8:09 pm
i i have a book for whom the bell tolls in mint condition it has an a but no seal its says charles scribners sons not and sons it has a copy write of 1940 but also a renewal for mary h. in 1968, it also doesnt have a credit on the back of the book under his picture the book slides into sleeve with the same pictorials of the book on the front and back is this a repo
November 18, 2010, 11:07 pm
Interestingly, my 1940 FWTBT has an "A" and an appliqué inside the rear cover stating that this was purchased from Edgar H. Well's & Co., which was an established bookstore in Manhattan at the time. Condition very good, otherwise. Handsome book. I wonder if the bookseller's designation brings this book higher in value.
December 20, 2010, 6:45 am
I have a 1940 'A' 1st Ed. but no jacket. Might someone here know where I can get a 1st Ed. DJ? Thanks much.
(415) 350 - 0155
January 1, 2011, 9:21 am
I have a signed and inscribed 1st edition in a 2nd ed. dustwrapper, in very good/good condition, as well as a later edition in a price-clipped otherwise good 1st ed. dustwrapper. From a collector´s viewpoint, would the signed edition have a higher value in the price-clipped 1st ed. wrapper? Would it be worthwhile looking out for a 1st ed. non-price clipped wrapper? Any suggestions welcome.
January 1, 2011, 12:09 pm
If the signed book was mine, and if it was in great shape, then I would purchase a first issue non-clipped jacket for it. It would be a great investment. However, you will probably have to buy a book with the jacket. I entered "first issue" under keywords in the AbeBooks search box on this page, and saw a couple of books with good jackets in the $500 range.
February 5, 2011, 5:03 pm
we have the same problem we own the book for whom the bell tolls and it looks like the 1st edtion its in great shape but it dosnt have the A or the seal we want to know what its worth and who would buy it from us ?
May 29, 2011, 6:39 pm
I have a red book For whom the bells toll, copyrighted 1940 by Ernest Hemington,his signature embossed on the front of the book and on the side where the title is there is a # 1, is it a first edition?
May 29, 2011, 6:40 pm
I have a red book For whom the bells toll, copyrighted 1940 by Ernest Hemington,his signature embossed on the front of the book and on the side where the title is there is a # 1, is it a first edition?
June 2, 2011, 3:39 pm
Hmmm... I have a copy that is not a 1st ed since it lacks the A. However, the dust jacket also lacks the photo credit, which is a 1st characteristic. I'm pretty sure it was printed in 1940 since it has a previous owner's inscription with "christmas 1940". The just jacket is price clipped so I can't verify the price. I'm wondering if there are later edition dust jackets without the photo credit. I'm pretty sure the jacket is not a fascimile since the owner's inscription bled onto the jacket to a small extent. Just curious.
June 22, 2011, 3:12 pm
i have a red bound book of f w t b t no a,no cover for the boo,printed in Philly ,any info?
August 22, 2011, 11:59 am
I have one without a sleeve and just has the date 1940 in it. It is blue. I cant tell if it is a first edition
October 23, 2011, 1:21 pm
i found one, no a, no seal, but I believe that the first edition always has choppy pages opposite the spine.
Ron "Toto" Johnson
November 26, 2011, 10:51 pm
I was watching "Pawn Stars" on TV tonight and a fellow brought a Hemingway autograph in (fake) and a first edition copy of "For Whom The Bell Tolls" (real) in to sell. I realized I had a copy that matched the looks of what was on TV so I got online to check things out. I got the copy about 25 years ago when my great-grandfather's house was being cleaned out after he passed away.
My copy has the "A"...the $2.75 price tag on the inside of the dust jacket...and there is no signature below the photo on the back of the dust jacket.
The dust jacket has a ot of tears and there is some staining on the edges of the pages. The copy I have is far from pristine but it is not falling apart either.
I see prices that are all over the place online. Can you give me a basic true idea of what I might have?
January 3, 2012, 10:49 am
i have what looks like a first edition, with the dust cover, the "A" on the copyright page, no photo credit on the back cover. On the title page, beneath the title, is a stamped signature of Ernest Hemingway.
Does anyone know the provenance of the stamped signature and does it add or detract from the value? Thanks. Carlo
January 21, 2012, 2:14 pm
no one has responded to my question regarding value of the 1st edition, with the A, with a stamped Ernest Hemingway "signature" below the title.
March 10, 2012, 7:49 am
The best way to find the value is to look for a similar book being offered for sale. The fastest way to do this is right from this web page. Look for the box on the upper right corner of this web page called "AbeBooks.com". You will see that the search criteria is already prefilled for you. Click on "Find Book" an you will see listings from booksellers sorted from highest to lowest. The highest valued ones are signed. Keep going down the list until you see one that is an unsigned first edition with a first issue dustjacket, then look for listings where the described condition matches yours. That should give you an idea of how much your book would sell for.
March 14, 2012, 6:58 am
Hemingway FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS publisher P.F. Collier & Son Corporation, New York. Copyright 1940, by ERNEST HEMINGWAY. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form without the permission of Charles Scribner's Sons. Below that is: PA = definition? Also has a single page next that: This book is for (name witheld)? Can you please shed some light on these items. Tks in advance.
March 14, 2012, 8:18 am
collier is a reprint house. so the book you are describing is a reprint. very little value I'm sorry to say. basically, any copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls that is *not* published by Charles Scribner's Sons is a reprint.
March 14, 2012, 8:19 am
The best way to find the value of what you have is to look for a similar book being offered for sale. The fastest way to do this is right from this web page. Look for the box on the upper right corner of this web page called "AbeBooks.com". You will see that the search criteria is already prefilled for you. Click on "Find Book" an you will see listings from booksellers sorted from highest to lowest. The highest valued ones are signed. Keep going down the list until you see one that is an unsigned first edition with a first issue dustjacket, then look for listings where the described condition matches yours. That should give you an idea of how much your book would sell for.
March 14, 2012, 8:29 am
two possibilities here. 1. someone switched dust jackets at some point. 2. you have an early second printing, and the printing house put a first issue dust jacket on it. check your dust jacket against the photos on this page very carefully and make sure it matches *exactly*, pay particular attention to the dust jacket flaps.
if your dust jacket is in good shape, and the price was not clipped, you might consider finding a first edition book without the dust jacket and marrying it to that book. Some people don't like that practice. but I think it's okay as long as you are certain that you have a first edition jacket. you should also be certain to disclose this if you sell it.
June 28, 2012, 4:21 pm
I have a copy, 471 pages long, hardbound with the boards and signature on front, with neither "A" nor seal, but all other copyright page info identical. Anyone have a clue as to which reprint run this was?
June 28, 2012, 4:22 pm
BTW, copyright date is 1940, again, as here shown.
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.