First Edition Points and Criteria for A Lost Lady

Year Published: 1923
Author Last Name: Cather
Author First Name: Willa
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf
Original Price:
Pages: 174

The first edition consisted of 20 copies on "Borzoi all rag paper signed by the author and numbered A to T"; 200 copies on "Borzoi all rag paper signed by the author and numbered 1 to 200"; and 20,000 first trade editions on "English featherweight paper."

Below is the first trade edition which states "Published September, 1923" on the copyright page with no statements of subsequent printings. Binding is light green cloth with title in gold script on the front, the title above the author name on the spine, patterned endpapers in green and pink, purple top stain, and title page printed in black and green. The green dust jacket has no price. It has reviews for One of Ours on the front flap, reviews for Youth and the Bright Medusa on the back flap, and a description of A Lost Lady on the back panel.

There are at least three states of the first trade edition often referred to as States A, B, and C. State A is the first issue and it is distinguished by textual points on pages 157, 163, 164, 171, 173, and 174. Descriptions can be found below in the photo section of this page.

Picture of the 1923 first edition dust jacket for A Lost Lady.
Picture of the 1923 first edition dust jacket for A Lost Lady.

Picture of the first edition copyright page for A Lost Lady.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for A Lost Lady.

Picture of dust jacket where original  price is found for A Lost Lady.
Picture of dust jacket where original price is found for A Lost Lady.

Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of A Lost Lady.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of A Lost Lady.

Picture of the first edition Alfred A. Knopf boards for A Lost Lady.
Picture of the first edition Alfred A. Knopf boards for A Lost Lady.

Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of A Lost Lady.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of A Lost Lady.

Picture of the first edition title page for A Lost Lady.
Picture of the first edition title page for A Lost Lady.

Line 11 on page 157 has a comma after the word "some" in State A copies, and some State B
Line 11 on page 157 has a comma after the word "some" in State A copies, and some State B and C copies. The comma is consistently removed in later printings.


Elliott is spelled consistently with two Ts throughout the book on State A and B.  But
Elliott is spelled consistently with two Ts throughout the book on State A and B. But it is spelled with just one T on page 163 of State C and later printings of the first edition.

On line 20 of page 164, sandalwood is hyphenated "sandal-wood" on State A and State C.
On line 20 of page 164, sandalwood is hyphenated "sandal-wood" on State A and State C. It is hyphenated san-dalwood" on State B, and later printings.

On State A and State B, line 18 of page 171 ends with "clever"; and line 19 ends with
On State A and State B, line 18 of page 171 ends with "clever"; and line 19 ends with "she". This page was reset in State C so that line 18 ends with "and"; and line 19 ends with "as". This reset is also found in later printings of the first edition.

On State A and State C, line 7 of page 173 ends with "cranky"; line 11 has a comma after
On State A and State C, line 7 of page 173 ends with "cranky"; line 11 has a comma after "ranch"; and line 23 ends with "re-". In State B and later printings of the first edition, line 7 ends with "rich,"; line 11 has no comma in "ranch"; and line 23 ends with "I".

On States A and B, line 16 of the last page ends with "Day."; and line 20 ends with
On States A and B, line 16 of the last page ends with "Day."; and line 20 ends with "Collins." On State C and later printings, line 16 ends with "Decoration"; and line 20 ends with "...Collins." While making these changes in State C, a misprint was created on line 19 where "of" became "af". This was corrected in later printings of the first edition. One final note: the spelling of Ed Elliott with a single T has been observed on the second-to-last line on a 1961 printing. It's not clear when it was adjusted.



Other first edition points for books by Willa Cather include: One of Ours.

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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.