Ten Valuable Ernest Hemingway First Edition Books
Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961) was one of America's literary lions. A volunteer ambulance driver in World War I, a seasoned war correspondent and an inveterate world traveler, the macho Hemingway left in his wake a treasure trove of classic literature.
Ernest Hemingway is always big with book collectors. Here are ten valuable Hemingway first editions and their selling prices at auction. Condition, especially as it relates to the dust jacket, is of paramount importance. Also, autographed editions will carry a big premium.
The Sun Also Rises (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1926)
Hemingway's timeless story of American and British expatriates living in Europe following World War I propelled him to literary fame. The narrator is American Jake Barnes, a Great War veteran rendered impotent by an unspecified wound received in combat. Released by Scribner's in October 1926, The Sun Also Rises originally sold for $2 and had a first edition print run of only 5,090 copies. Auction result in very good condition: $5,676.25.
The Sun Also Rises (1926) sold for $5,676.25
A Farewell to Arms (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929)
Hemingway's semi-autobiographical story of Lt. Frederic Henry, an American ambulance driver, paints a bleak portrait of World War I. The primary setting is the Italian Front, where Henry is wounded – just like Hemingway – and recuperates in a hospital in Milan, where he falls in love with British nurse Catherine Barkley. Originally serialized in Scribner's Magazine from May to October 1929, A Farewell to Arms sold for $2.50 and enjoyed an initial print run of around 31,000 copies. Auction result in very good condition: $1,135.25.
A Farewell to Arms (1929) sold for $1,135.25
Winner Take Nothing (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1933)
This is Hemingway's third collection of short stories. Among the offerings are "After the Storm," "The Sea Change," "One Reader Writes" and "Wine of Wyoming." Originally priced at $2, Winner Take Nothing had a first edition print run of approximately 20,000 copies. Auction result in fine condition: $1,792.50.
Winner Take Nothing (1933) sold for $1,792.50
Green Hills of Africa (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1935)
Hemingway's second work of nonfiction, Green Hills of Africa chronicles a safari undertaken by the author and his second wife Pauline in East Africa in 1933. Hunting and a discussion of literature dominate the book. Originally priced at $2.75, Green Hills of Africa enjoyed a first print run of 10,500 copies. Auction result in very good condition: $448.13.
Green Hills of Africa (1935) sold for $448.13
To Have and Have Not (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1937)
Hemingway's novel set in Cuba and Key West – two locales which played important roles in his life – features Harry Morgan, a fishing boat captain who is forced into black market activity by hard economic times. To Have and Have Not is the only Hemingway novel set in the United States. Released in October 1937, the novel had a first edition print run of around 10,000 copies. Auction result in very good condition: $836.50.
To Have and Have Not (1937) sold for $836.50
The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1938)
Hemingway's celebrated anthology includes a full-length play, "The Fifth Column," set during the Spanish Civil War. Other stories include "The Snows of Kilimanjaro," "The Killers," "Hills Like White Elephants," "Old Man and the Bridge" and "The Capital of the World." Released by Scribner's in October 1938, The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories had a first print run of only 5,350 copies. Auction result in very good condition: $657.25.
The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories (1938) sold for $657.25
For Whom the Bell Tolls (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940)
Hemingway's immortal classic of the Spanish Civil War features Robert Jordan, a young, idealistic American fighting in the International Brigades. Generally recognized as one of Hemingway's greatest works, For Whom the Bell Tolls originally sold for $2.75 and enjoyed a first print run of 75,000 copies. Auction result in very good condition: $418.25.
For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940) sold for $418. 25
Across the River and Into the Trees (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1950)
Hemingway's take on World War II, as experienced by his protagonist U.S. Army Colonel Richard Cantwell, garnered some bad reviews upon its release in September 1950. The novel was serialized in Cosmopolitan from February to June 1950. Across the River and Into the Trees enjoyed a first print run of 75,000 copies, with Adriana Ivancich illustrating the dust jacket and Scribner's promotion department redrawing her original artwork. Auction result in very good condition: $131.45.
Across the River and Into the Trees (1950) sold for $131.45
The Old Man and the Sea (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1952)
Written by Hemingway in Cuba in 1952, The Old Man and the Sea features Santiago, an aging fisherman who battles a giant marlin in the Gulf Stream. The short, 127-page novel was originally priced at $3 and dedicated to Maxwell Perkins, Hemingway's longtime editor at Scribner's. Auction result in very good condition: $956.
The Old Man and the Sea (1952) sold for $956
A Moveable Feast (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1964)
Hemingway's posthumously published memoir on his lean years in Paris of the 1920s comes alive, including his early impressions of such writers as Ezra Pound, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ford Madox Ford, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and John Dos Passos. Hemingway had completed his final draft prior to his suicide in Ketchum, Idaho, on July 2, 1961. A Moveable Feast was originally priced at $4.95. Auction result in very good condition: $179.25.
A Moveable Feast (1964) sold for $179.25
Ten More Collectible Ernest Hemingway First Edition Books, Autographs and Memorabilia
- Death in the Afternoon (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932) $717
- Men at War (Crown, 1942), edited by Hemingway $179.25
- Men Without Women (Jonathan Cape, 1928), first British edition $776.75
- In Our Time (Boni & Liveright, 1925) $3,107
- The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (Modern Library, 1942), inscribed and signed by the author $3,734.38
- Ernest Hemingway signed CBS-TV logo card $657.25
- Hemingway handwritten one-page letter signed "E.H.," July 15, 1959. Madrid, Spain $2,390
- Original pencil sketch of Hemingway for the dust jacket of The Sun Also Rises, signed "John Blomshield, Paris 1925" $4,481.25
- Hemingway three-page handwritten signed letter on The Lombardy, New York stationery, undated $3,585
- The Torrents of Spring (Jonathan Cape, 1933), first U.K. edition $507.88
Inscribed and signed book: The Short Stories of Ernest Hemingway (1942) sold for $3,734.38
- All auction results and images courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries, Dallas, Texas
- Top image: A young Ernest Hemingway in Paris - Charles Scribner's Sons