The First Edition of Hemingway's First Book
Ernest Hemingway. Three Stories & Ten
Poems. [Paris]: Contact Publishing Co., 1923. First edition
of Hemingway's first book, one of only 300 copies printed.
Twelvemo. 58 pages plus printer's imprint. Printed at Dijon by
Maurice Darantière, who also printed James Joyce's Ulysses.
Original grayish-blue printed wrappers. Spine a bit toned and
chipped, some toning, edgewear and creasing to wrappers, one short
tear to upper front joint, some tape residue to endleaves and folds
of wrappers. Text a bit toned with some marginal creases. With the
bookseller's ticket of Shakespeare and Company ("Shakespeare and
Company/Sylvia Beach/12, rue de l'Odéon/Paris-VI") taped to rear
inner wrappers. A very good copy of this rare and fragile item,
with an excellent association.
Sylvia Beach and her Parisian book shop loom large in the history of the literature of the twentieth century. Beach supported expatriate authors (including Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, F. Scott Fitzgerald and James Joyce, to name but a few - she famously published the first edition of Ulysses in 1922). She also hosted the literary salon for this expatriate group. Ernest Hemingway, an unknown writer at the time, was a frequent visitor to Beach at her shop. He even read her the stories and poems contained in this book before anyone else. Another expatriate and habitué of Shakespeare and Company, Robert McAlmon, published this book at his press due to Beach's encouragement. Beach, in her memoirs, recounted how quickly this book sold out.
Beach moved her store from the 8 rue Dupuytren to the address above in 1922. It was closed in 1941 by order of the German authority, and, although Hemingway "personally liberated" the store after the war, it never re-opened at this location. Hanneman A1a.
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