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The Old Man and the Sea. by  Ernest Hemingway - Signed First Edition - 1952 - from Raptis Rare Books and Biblio.com

The Old Man and the Sea.

by Hemingway, Ernest

Condition: See description


New York: Charles Scribner's & Sons, 1952. First edition, early printing of Hemingway's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and one of his most famous works. Octavo, original blue cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by Ernest Hemingway on the half-title page in the year he received the Nobel Prize in Literature, "For Adele Ervin with sincere good wishes Ernest Hemingway Finca Vigia 1954." Finca Vigia was Hemingway's home in the San Francisco de Paula Ward in Havana, Cuba. He purchased the property in 1940 at the request of his third wife Martha Gellhorn who had become tired of the small room he was renting at the Hotel Ambos Mundos. It was at Finca Vigia that Hemingway wrote much of For Whom the Bell Tolls and The Old Man and the Sea in its entirety. Near fine in a near fine price-clipped dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. An exceptional example, most rare and desirable signed and inscribed. Written in Cuba in 1951 and published the following year, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and cited by the Nobel Committee as as contributing to their awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954. The novel reinvigorated Hemingway's literary reputation, initiated a reexamination of his entire body of work, and was received with such alacrity that it restored many readers' confidence in Hemingway's capability as an author. "In its own terms the book is as nearly faultless as any short novel of our times. The writing has the quality of being familiar and yet perpetually new. That is the essence of classical prose" (Malcom Cowley, New York Herald Tribune). "In the Old man and the Sea Ernest Hemingway has returned to the stripped, lean, objective narrative so characteristic of him at his best...a story which is beautiful in its description, and of clean thrusting power in its pursuit" (Edward Weeks, The Atlantic). It was the basis for the 1958 film directed by John Sturges, with the screenplay by Peter Viertel, starring Spencer Tracy. Dimitri Tiomkin won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for his work on the film. James Wong Howe was also nominated for best color cinematography. The same year, Tracy was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor.

This novella, only 140 pages, was first printed in it's entirety in Life Magazine Sept 1st 1952, inspiring a buying frenzy selling over 5 million copies of the magazine in just 2 days. The story about an aging Cuban fisherman wrangling a large marlin in the gulf stream was written in 1951 in Cuba and published in 1952. In 1953 it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and led to Hemingway's nomination for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Man's struggle against nature is the resounding theme throughout the book as Hemingway portrays Santiago's travails as an experienced fisherman facing a dry-spell of 85 days before finally wrangling a prized marlin. Hemingway also highlights the indomitable spirit of man while illustrating his ideal of manliness and character in the strong and determined fisherman facing danger and discomfort without complaint and with resolution, both in the days it takes Santiago to kill the marlin, and as he fights off the sharks that end up destroying his prized catch before he reaches the coast. Some say that Hemingway's tale is a reflection of his own determination to prove his writing career was not over, and the portrayal of the sharks may echo the critics who had been claiming for the ten years that his writing career, after the successful release of For Whom the Bell Tolls in 1940, was over. The book is dedicated "To Charlie Scribner And To Max Perkins," friends of Hemingway's that had passed away before the book came out. Max Perkins, who also edited F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, died in 1947 and Scribner, who was president of the publisher Charles Scribner's Sons, died in 1952. The last work published by Hemingway during his lifetime, signed first editions can sell upwards of $15,000 - $17,000. Read more: Identifying first editions of The Old Man and the Sea.


  • Bookseller: Raptis Rare Books US (US)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: 95115
  • Title: The Old Man and the Sea.
  • Author: Hemingway, Ernest
  • Book condition: Used
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Charles Scribner's & Sons
  • Place: New York
  • Date published: 1952
  • Keywords: Ernest Hemingway First Edition, Ernest Hemingway Signed, Old Man and the Sea First Edition


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On Mar 6 2014, said:
  "The Old Man and The Sea is an excellent novella for someone to read looking to get away from the troubles of life only to find that some troubles lead to the greatest reward of even though the reward is only a small amount."

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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
jacket
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
octavo
Another of the terms referring to page or book size, octavo refers to a standard printer's sheet folded four times, producing...[more]
clamshell box
A protective box designed for storing and preserving a bound book or loose sheets. A clamshell box is hinged on one side, with...[more]
morocco
Morocco is a style of leather book binding that is usually made with goatskin, as it is durable and easy to dye. (see also...[more]
First Edition
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fine
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Cloth
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...[more]
inscribed
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