3 December 2007,
New York, Rockefeller Center
Price realised USD 10,625
Estimate USD 5,000 - USD 7,000
HEMINGWAY, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929.
8o. Original black cloth, printed gold labels on front cover and spine; pictorial dust jacket (minor rubbing to front panel and spine, some light soiling and wear at edges); quarter morocco folding case. Provenance: Hurd Whitney (presentation inscription from the author).
FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, without disclaimer on page [x]. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY HEMINGWAY on the front free endpaper: "To Hurd Whitney with very best wishes, Ernest Hemingway." Hemingway was working on A Farewell to Arms, when his second wife Pauline gave birth to their first son, Patrick. He felt the need to escape the distractions of a newborn, so he took off from Kansas City for Wyoming with friend Bill Horne. He had just thirty pages left to write after three weeks in the rugged outdoors. Upon finishing the novel he said, "I've...never felt better or stronger or healthier in the head or body--nor had better confidence or morale--haven't been sick since I've been in America--knocking on wood--not had an accident--more knocking." The year 1928 would end on a low for him, however, when on December 6th, Hemingway's father committed suicide.
The novel was serialized in six parts in Scribner's Magazine from May to October 1929, but with some revisions to the text--the magazine's publishers insisted that Max Perkins take out the curse words, and edit the discussion between Rinaldi and Lieutenant Henry about the pain of sex for "good" girls. The book was published by Scribner's on September 27, 1929, and was both a huge commercial and critical success for Hemingway. Four weeks after publication sales soared to 33,000 copies; a month later they exceeded 50,000--despite the crash of the stock market. Connolly, The Modern Movement 60 ("probably his best"); Hanneman A10a.
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