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.
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.
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.