The first printing has the letter "A" and Scribner's seal on the copyright page. There are two variant dust jackets - one with the back photo of Hemingway tinted blue, and one where the photo is olive. This is thought to be caused by printing problems, and one does not take precedence over the other as a first edition point of issue. Hemingway's signature greatly increases value.
The Old Man and the Sea won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
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Picture of the 1952 first edition dust jacket for The Old Man and the Sea.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for The Old Man and the Sea.
Picture of dust jacket where original $3.00 price is found for The Old Man and the Sea.
There are two variant dust jackets. The one on the left has an blue tinted photo of Ernest Hemingway, and the one on the right has an olive tinted photo.
Picture of the first edition Charles Scribner's Sons boards for The Old Man and the Sea.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of The Old Man and the Sea.
Picture of the first edition title page for The Old Man and the Sea.
The book club edition dust jacket lacks a price and states BOOK OF THE MONTH CLUB. It is shown with the true first edition dust jacket for comparison.
This is the copyright page from the book club edition. Notice that the Scribners seal is not present, and there is printer information on the bottom. Also in the photograph is the booklet that came with the book club edition.
The book club edition has a small embossment on the bottom right corner of the book (near the spine).
This is a copyright page from a later printing. While is has a seal, it is missing the "A". Also notice a rather large error - Hemingway is misspelled.
The 1954 Nobel Prize blurb on this dust jacket is an obvious give-away that it is not from a 1952 first edition.
This copyright page is from a later 1962 printing of The Old Man and the Sea.
The dust jacket on the left is from a first edition, and the dust jacket on the right is from a reprint from the 1970s.
Although the copyright page of this book has a full number line, it is not a first edition. Rather, it is the first printing of later edition. Notice the presence of an ISBN, which was not used until the 1970s.
June 16, 2009, 11:15 pm
I have a 1952 copy of Old Man and the Sea, it has the $3 on the dust jacket (so not book club). But there is no A on the copyright page, there is no letter at all. What does this mean. It does have the Scribner press emblem. Any information would be appreciated.
August 16, 2009, 6:30 pm
I have an 8 3/8" x 5 3/8" hard-cover The Old Man and The Sea with: dust jacket (pale green with thin black line at the bottom that runs from front--title and author in black all-caps--to back--"Published by CHARLES SCRIBNER's SONS New York" and over spine--title, author, publisher) in exceedingly clean, good condition (one chip and two 3-4mm closed tears); with light-blue, paper boards and dark-blue, cloth spine (title, author, and publisher in bright sliver); and with a copyright page bearing "Copyright 1952 Ernest Hemingway All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form with out the permission of Charles Scribner's Sons. 1 3 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 B/C 20 18 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 Printed in the United States of America Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 77-81618 ISBN 0-684-15363-7" (bearing no "A" and no Scribner's colophon and no "W"). Am I fully correct that this volume is not a true first-edition? Does the "B/C" mean "second/third" printing, or edition, or does it stand for "book club?" Is it a "later printing" of a first edition? It's condition is pristine; pages are unmarked, crisp, tight, straight, feels unread, only marks are a few, tiny, age spots on the pages' top- and side-edges.
August 16, 2009, 6:48 pm
Oh, and it has 127 pages, not 140.
December 5, 2009, 4:30 pm
I have a copy of "The Old Man and the Sea" , 1952 copyright. The copyright page has the letter"A" but does not have Scribners press emblem or "Printed in the United States of America", but otherwise has all other correct wordage. Where does this copy stand?
December 5, 2009, 5:20 pm
Sounds like a book club edition. But the book club editions generally have printing information on the bottom of the copyright page. Another way to check is to turn the book over, and see if there is a tiny indentation on the bottom right side (near the spine.)
June 23, 2010, 7:54 am
Bought an Qld Man and The Sea in Beaufort S.C. for $45 10 years ago. It has a " W" where the 'A" should be. What's the W? stand for?
March 8, 2011, 4:38 am
I have a first edition old man and the sea , on the back near the spine there is a small round depression ? And on the copyright page there is a W ? Could somebody please tell me what that means ?
May 24, 2011, 10:13 am
I have a "w" also, did you get an answer to your inquiry?
October 15, 2011, 1:42 pm
I have a First Edition "A" copy, but its without its dust jacket. Anyone know of anywhere I can get the first state jacket?
October 29, 2011, 10:44 am
Has anyone got an answer about the W" where the 'A" should be. What's the W? stand for?
October 29, 2011, 11:04 am
I have seen the W present on later printings of the book club edition. The earlier book club printings carry an A without the Scribner's seal.
October 29, 2011, 7:00 pm
If it has a W - Would it be a later printing if it has no other numbers and has the date 1952?
January 4, 2012, 12:38 pm
My copy does not have the publisher's emblem but it does have the "A". Small round depression is on the back. No ISBN or other numbers, just the copyright 1952. Printed in the US of A by Kingsport Press, Inc. (Tennesee). Dedicated "To Charlie Scribner and to Max Perkins". 140 pages.
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