best copy in the world
In Our Time
1st edition of his first American book, unlike anything ever written before it, and the single most influential volume of American stories published in the 20th century. Fine signed presentation copy (in ink ) , inscribed in Feb. 1926 , “ T o Jack Cowles on V alentine’ s day (this has no sexual significance) Ernest Hemingway.” Cowles was among Hemingway’s closest friends and they stayed close all their lives, but Hemingway had just returned from Europe so this was the first time he’d seen Cowles since the book was published, and thus the first chance to give him the presentation copy set aside for him. Above the inscription, Hemingway has drawn a pierced bleeding heart, with an arrow pointing to drops of blood, and he has annotated the drawing, “blood ($2.00 worth)”.
So the book has a solid association, an interesting inscription, and a captioned drawing, but this gets even better. Throughout the story “Mr. and Mrs. Elliot” Hemingway has handwritten back in, all the lines that were censored out, 48 words total in 4 different places, mostly about trying to make a baby(see top picture on right for 1 of the 4 places). He’s also deleted a sentence (7 words forced on him by the editor). Want more? On 2 blank endpapers Hemingway has handwritten 2 absolutely amazing poems, neither publishable in the U. S. in the 1920s. The first “The Age Demanded” sardonically defends the lost generation (see middle picture on right). The second poem “The Earnest Liberal’s Lament” taunts St. Valentine’s Day (see last picture on right). Total in this book (inscription, caption, corrections and 2 manuscripts), 147 words, all in Hemingway’s handwriting. The otherwise fine cloth has had the sheets reset after undetectably restoring splits in the inner paper hinges from underneath (the only repair), and the text has some occasional foxing. The dustjacket has a sliver of a chip at the upper edge, and short tears mostly at the folds, but it’s nearly fine, fresh, integral and it has never been repaired in any way, quite superior for this jacket, infamous for, darkening, grubbiness, and separating panels. Full French morocco case.