First Edition Points and Criteria for Tales of the South Pacific

Year Published: 1947
Author Last Name: Michener
Author First Name: James A.
Publisher: Macmillan
Original Price: $3.00
Pages: 326

"First Printing" is stated on the top of the copyright page. Printed by "THE VAIL-BALLOU PRESS INC." is stated on the bottom of the copyright page. Book is bound in orange-beige cloth, with letters on spine stamped in blue and no design on the front. The dust jacket carries the illustrator's name on the front cover and a $3.00 price vertically on the top of the front flap. See Why Macmillan Clipped Their Dust Jackets: Mystery Solved for more information.

The illustrator, John O'Hara Cosgrave II, also designed the dust jacket for Conrad Richter's The Town, and Mario Puzo's The Fortunate Pilgrim.

Tales of the South Pacific won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

This is the first edition dust jacket with the illustrator's name (J.OH. Cosgrave II)
This is the first edition dust jacket with the illustrator's name (J.OH. Cosgrave II) credited vertically on the front.

Picture of the first edition copyright page for Tales of the South Pacific.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for Tales of the South Pacific.

The $3.00 price is on the front flap, and is typically seen horizontally at the bottom,
The $3.00 price is on the front flap, and is typically seen horizontally at the bottom, or vertically at the top. We believe that the jacket with the vertical price at the top is the first issue.

Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Tales of the South Pacific.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Tales of the South Pacific.

Picture of the first edition Macmillan boards for Tales of the South Pacific.
Picture of the first edition Macmillan boards for Tales of the South Pacific.

Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Tales of the South Pacific.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of Tales of the South Pacific.

The first and second printing boards (like the one on the left) have no art work on the
The first and second printing boards (like the one on the left) have no art work on the front. The third printing boards (like the one on the right) are a darker red, and have a design similar to the dust jacket. This design is sometimes seen on later printings and reprints as well.

This special autographed limited edition was published a few years after the true first
This special autographed limited edition was published a few years after the true first edition. It was limited to 1,500 copies.

This page is from the special autographed limited edition.  It was published by MacMillan
This page is from the special autographed limited edition. It was published by MacMillan to mark the golden anniversary of the American Booksellers Association.

Signature of James A. Michener from the signature page of the special autographed limited
Signature of James A. Michener from the signature page of the special autographed limited edition of Tales of the South Pacific.

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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.