The first printing has the letter "A" and Scribner's seal on the copyright page.
The first issue dust jacket has a four paragraph publisher's description of the story on the back panel and a tout on the bottom stating that the book is a Book-of-the-Month Club Selection. There are no media reviews on the back panel.
Note: the Book-of-the-Month statement does NOT mean that the book or jacket is a book club edition. Rather it is nothing more than a tout by the publisher to advertise in effect that the Book-of-the-Month Club planned to make a book club edition at the time the first edition was published. Although collectors don't generally want book club editions, publishers love book club editions because it means that novel is good enough to get picked up by the club and thus it will enjoy a higher readership. In this case the publisher used the book club statement as a badge of honor in leu of media reviews. Then as the publisher received positive media reviews, it put those reviews on the back of the second issue jacket and removed the book club statement.
Picture of the 1938 first edition dust jacket for The Yearling.
Title page from the first edition of The Yearling.
Copyright page from the first edition of The Yearling.
Front flap from the first issue dust jacket of The Yearling.
The true first edition dust jacket has "A Book-of-the-Month Club Selection" across the bottom. This blurb causes some confusion. It does NOT mean that the book or jacket is a book club edition. Rather it just means that the Book-of-the-Month Club planned to make a book club edition at the time the first edition was published, and the publisher was advertising that fact. Later printing dust jackets do not have the book-of-the-month club blurb.
The back dust jacket flap has reviews for South Moon Under, and for Golden Apples. It also touts that South Moon Under is a Book-of-the-Month Club Selection. The back flap remained the same in later issued jackets.
First edition binding of The Yearling.
The first issue dust jacket on the left lacks any media reviews and touts that it is a Book-of-the-Month Club Selection. The later issue jacket on the right has multiple media reviews and omits the Book-of-the-Month Club tout.
Other first edition points for books by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings include: Cross Creek.
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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.