The first edition of this great read was published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1951. It was 508 pages long, and the original retail price was $4.00. The first edition identification criteria are as follows: FIRST EDITION is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. Blue cloth boards with embossed design of Neptune on the front.
Picture of the 1951 first edition dust jacket for The Cruel Sea.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for The Cruel Sea.
Picture of dust jacket where original $4.00 price is found for The Cruel Sea.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The Cruel Sea.
Picture of the first edition Alfred A. Knopf boards for The Cruel Sea.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for the first edition of The Cruel Sea.
The first edition has no Book Club depression on the corner of the back board. Please note that the publisher's Borzoi logo is embossed on the true first edition and should not be confused with the book club depression.
This is the copyright page for the second printing, which is often confused for the true first edition. The true first edition states "FIRST EDITION". It does not state "FIRST AND SECOND PRINTINGS BEFORE PUBLICATION".
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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.