Ernest Hemingway “The Sun Also Rises”, First Edition 1926

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We sold this item at auction for $14,739
 in October 2021.

This first edition, first printing of Ernest Hemingway’s debut novel, “The Sun Also Rises” (New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons) is presented in its unrestored first state dust jacket.

Published by Scribner’s in 1926, the first printing of Hemingway’s novel had an original print run of 5,090 copies. The story involves early Hemingway mentions of his passions, bullfighting and the running of the bulls which feature in some of his later works.

Hemingway’s First Novel

“The Sun Also Rises” was first published in 1926 by Scribner’s. Ernest Hemingway wrote the novel in Paris during the early 1920s, drawing inspiration from his own experiences as a journalist and expatriate living in post-World War I Europe. The novel was released on October 22, 1926, to critical acclaim and commercial success.

In 1930, “The Sun Also Rises” was banned in Boston and banned in Ireland in 1953 because of its language and its focus on sex and promiscuity.

Modernist Dust Jacket Artwork

The original dust jacket artwork for “The Sun Also Rises” featured a simple design with bold typography, reflecting the modernist aesthetic of the time. The cover artwork was created by Cleonike Damianakes Wilkins, an artist known for her modernist style.

Wilkins, known by the pseudonym Cleon, was the artist also responsible for the dust jacket of Hemingway’s “A Farewell to Arms” (1929), among other notable works.

Her style reflected a blend of modernist and classical influences and her artwork, characterized by arch Art Deco interpretations of classical poses and Pre-Raphaelite sensibilities, often featured solid figures with muscled legs and abs.

Despite Hemingway’s publisher arguing that Cleon’s covers added a “classical dignity” to his books, Hemingway disagreed, and Cleon never designed another cover for him. She was paid just $50 to design the cover of “The Sun Also Rises”.

We sold this copy at auction for $14,739 – the high sales price was partly due to the fact that it included the original first-issue dust jacket.

The issue of the dust jacket can be identified by the text printed on it which lists “In Our Times” on the front panel. This title error by Cleon seems to have upset Hemingway (who authored “In Our Time”, not “In Our Times”.)

Collectibility of “The Sun Also Rises” First Editions

Due to its literary significance and Hemingway’s status as one of the most celebrated American writers of the 20th century, first editions of “The Sun Also Rises” are highly collectible.

Collectors often seek out copies in good condition, particularly those with the original dust jacket intact, as these are considered more valuable. The novel’s enduring popularity and cultural impact have contributed to its status as a sought-after collectible among bibliophiles and Hemingway enthusiasts.

The book itself includes the telltale errors which identify it as a first printing of “The Sun Also Rises”. These errors include:

  • Misspelling of the word “stoppped” at p.181, line 26
  • The “Book Three” reading, and the misspelling “Down-staris” on p.169

This is a very collectible copy of Hemingway’s debut novel and especially of the rarely seen original dust jacket.

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If you’re interested in selling a first edition of “The Sun Also Rises” or any first edition Ernest Hemingway novel at auction with us, check out our first edition books consignment page for more information.

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