First Edition Points and Criteria for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms

Year Published: 1903
Author Last Name: Wiggin
Author First Name: Kate Douglas
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company
Original Price: $1.25
Pages: 327

1903 is stated on the bottom of the title page and "Published October 1903" is stated on the copyright page with no references to subsequent printings. The binding is green cloth with light green borders and lettering. The dust jacket is extremely rare. It is teal with navy blue lettering, it lacks illustrations, and carries a price of $1.25 on the spine. The back panel has advertisements for other books by Kate Douglas Wiggin. Both front and back flaps are blank. The dust jacket might have been issued with a glassine wrapper over the dust jacket.

There were three changes made to the first edition. The first change was made to the binding and involved switching the size of the publisher's imprint at the foot of the spine from 1/16 type to 1/8 type. The second and third changes were content changes that involved switching a phrase on page 325, line 9 from "Don't go to the side door;" to "Don't turn in at the side;" - and simplifying a phrase on page 327, line 13 from "sun of that October noon." to "October sun." (See Comparison photos toward the bottom).

The reference guide BAL (Bibliography of American Literature) has assigned a tentative "Printing" number from 1 through 4 to the content variations. It has also given a "Binding" letter to the binding variations - Binding A for the 1/16 type and Binding B for the 1/8 type. Taken together, the combination of content and binding changes are expressed by a number to represent Printing followed by a letter to represent the Binding. We have established that there are 7 varieties and we created a chart to describe each one according to what is on page 325, page 327, and the binding. It is important to note that BAL says the order of printing presentation is tentative, but it does *not* say that the binding order is tentative.

After extensive research we believe that Binding A (publisher's imprint on the spine is 1/16 type) is a true first edition point. It makes sense to us that a publisher would increase the size of their name on the spine rather than decrease it. We also looked at a 1931 Houghton Mifflin edition and the Houghton Mifflin 100 Year Anniversary Edition (2003); and noted that they carry the Printing 4 combination of changes. So if Printing 4 describes the latest content changes, Printing 1 appears to describe the earliest. That said, we believe that Printing 1, Binding A - Variety 1,A represent the true first edition points ("Don't go to the side door;", "sun of that October noon", and 1/16 type on spine). We would love to hear some feedback about this.

Picture of the 1903 first edition dust jacket front from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.
Picture of the 1903 first edition dust jacket front from Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms. Photo courtesy of The Reluctant Bookseller.

Picture of the first edition copyright page for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.
Picture of the first edition copyright page for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.

The front dust jacket flap of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms is blank.  Photo courtesy of
The front dust jacket flap of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms is blank. Photo courtesy of The Reluctant Bookseller.

Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms. Photo courtesy of The Reluctant Bookseller.

Picture of the first edition Houghton Mifflin Company boards for Rebecca of Sunnybrook
Picture of the first edition Houghton Mifflin Company boards for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.

The back dust jacket flap of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms is blank.  Photo courtesy of The
The back dust jacket flap of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms is blank. Photo courtesy of The Reluctant Bookseller.

Picture of the first edition title page for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.
Picture of the first edition title page for Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms.

The $1.25 price is located on the lower spine of the dust jacket.  Unfortunately that
The $1.25 price is located on the lower spine of the dust jacket. Unfortunately that part of this very rare dust jacket is missing. Photo courtesy of The Reluctant Bookseller.

Page 325, line 9 of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms was changed from "Don't go to the
Page 325, line 9 of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms was changed from "Don't go to the side door" to "Don't turn in at the side".

The publisher's name on the spine of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms was changed from
The publisher's name on the spine of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms was changed from 1/16 type (Binding A) to 1/8 type (Binding B).

Page 327, line 13 of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms was changed from "in the sun of that
Page 327, line 13 of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms was changed from "in the sun of that October noon" to "in the October sun".

This chart summarizes the printing varieties found in the first edition of Rebecca of
This chart summarizes the printing varieties found in the first edition of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farms. Many book dealers describe the variaties by using the a combination of the BAL (Bibliography of American Literature) printing number and binding letter. We do not include a 1,B because we do not believe that that particular variety exists.

This advertisement shows that the original issue price was $1.25.
This advertisement shows that the original issue price was $1.25.

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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.