• Fine Printed Books and Manuscr auction at Christies

    Sale 2227

    Fine Printed Books and Manuscripts Including Americana

    4 December 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 70

    HEMINGWAY, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929.

    Price Realised  


    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 (some fading, some wear along edges). Provenance: Mary-Elizabeth Hudson (bookplate laid-in).

    FIRST EDITION, FIRST ISSUE, without disclaimer on page [x]. Hemingway was working on A Farewell to Arms when his second wife Pauline gave birth to their first son, Patrick. Feeling the need to escape the distractions of a newborn, he took off from Kansas City for Wyoming with his 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 note 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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