Darkness At Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

Darkness at Noon, by Hungarian-born British writer Arthur Koestler, is the tale of Rubashov, an Old Bolshevik who is arrested, imprisoned, and tried for treason against the government that he had helped to create. The novel is understood as an allegory to the USSR in 1938, the Great Purge, and the Moscow Trials. However, the text never mentions the Soviet Union or Russia (just “Country of the Revolution” and “Over There”) or Joseph Stalin (only “Number One,” a menacing dictator). Perhaps the lack of specific references is Koestler’s way of making the story seem more universal, but it’s clear he has in mind actual places, people, and events.

Koestler was actually a proponent of Marxism-Leninism until Stalin’s 1938 Purge and the signing of the Nazi-Soviet pact. Afterwards, he edited an anti-Hitler, anti-Stalin newspaper. Koestler wrote the novel in German while living in Paris, from where he escaped in 1940 just before the Nazi troops arrived. Darkness at Noon owes its publication to the decision of sculptor Daphne Hardy, Koestler’s lover in Paris, to translate the text into English before she herself escaped.

Koestler wrote Darkness at Noon as the second part of a trilogy; the first volume is The Gladiators (1939), first published in Hungarian. It is a novel about the subversion of the Spartacus revolt. The third novel is Arrival and Departure (1943), about a refugee during World War II. By then living in London, Koestler wrote the third in English.

In 1998, the Modern Library ranked Darkness at Noon number eight on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. Sidney Kingsley adapted it for Broadway in 1951.    

First Edition Identification

Jonathan Cape published the first English edition of Darkness at Noon — translated by Daphne Hardy — in London in 1940.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

Macmillian of New York published the first American edition of Darkness at Noon in 1941.

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Darkness at Noon (Modern Classics)

Darkness at Noon (Modern Classics)

by Koestler, Arthur

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0140005390
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Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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Samizdat
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1981
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Title: Sötétség délben (Darkness at Noon) Author: Arthur Koestler Publisher: Ujváry Griff Verlag Place: München Year: 1981 Edition: Samizdat Binding: Softcover Pages: 144 Language: Hungarian Condition: Good Dust Jacket: Not issued Size (mm): 106 x 150 Description: Hungarian bootleg edition of Koestler's most influential work published in West Germany and smuggled behind the Iron Curtain. Cover art is based on "The Power and the Man"… Read more about this item
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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1st Edition
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1940
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Hardcover
ISBN 10
0224603868
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Cape, 1940. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Good/Poor. The boards are a bit marked and worn. Internally mostly clean and tightly bound - if slightly cocked and sprung. One signature, minor offsetting and a few spots. The jacket is from a later edition. It is a bit chipped and marked.. Our orders are shipped using tracked courier delivery services.… Read more about this item
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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1961
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Signet Classic, 1961. Paperback. Very good/N/A. First printing of Signet Classic edition. No markings. Light creasing and shelf wear to covers. Pages and covers are crisp.
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Darkness At Noon

Darkness At Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Limited Signed Edition
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1979
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Franklin Center, PA: Franklin Library. Fine. 1979. Limited Signed Edition. Full-Leather. A Fine Limited edition from the Franklin Library, signed by author Arthur Koestler; The action is set during Stalin's purge trials of the 1930s and concerns Nicholas Rubashov, an old-guard Bolshevik who at first denies, then confesses to, crimes that he has not committed. Reflecting … Read more about this item
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Darkness at Noon Koestler, Arthur

by Koestler, Arthur

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1941-06-01
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0025652001
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Scribner, 1941-06-01. Hardcover. Very Good. 1941 Macmillian hard cover - 1st edition - date of 1941 on both title page and copyright page - no printing stated - some wear to edge of dust jacket (now in mylar cover) tanning and minor staining to page edge - owner's name inside front cover in pencil - otherwise cover fine… Read more about this item
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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1941
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New York: Macmillan, 1941. Book. Good. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. First printing. Translated by Daphne Hardy. Considerable wear to the extremities. The spine is slightly slanted. The endpapers are foxed. Otherwise fine in a sound binding with hinges intact. The dust jacket is chipped along the top… Read more about this item
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Darkness At Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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1979
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Hardcover
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Pennsylvania: The Franklin Library. Very Good+. 1979. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Special signed edition, part of the 60 limited edition series published between 1977 and 1982. Beautifully bound in leather with gilt letter and design in 22kt gold and printed on archival paper with gilt edges. The end sheets are of moire silk fabric with a silk marker… Read more about this item
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Darkness At Noon.

by Koestler, Arthur. (Text) Hardy, Daphne. (Trans. ) Roth, George. (Illustration)

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First Edition; First Printing
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1979
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Franklin Center: Franklin Library.. Near Fine in Fine dust jacket. 1979. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. First SIGNED limited edition. Near fine in black leather binding with gilt titles and edges, without dust jacket as issued. (Trace of foxing at gilt top edge. ) ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 238 pages .
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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1941-06-01
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ISBN 10
0025652001
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Scribner, 1941-06-01. Hardcover. New. New. In shrink wrap. Looks like an interesting title!
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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First Printing
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1948
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New York: Signet, 1948. First Printing. Paperback. Very Good. Signet 671. Mild lamination peel, front cover a bit warped. A very good+ copy. ; Small octavo.
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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1965
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Penguin Books, 1965. Paperback. Good. 1965. Reprinted. 211 pages. Illustrated paper cover. Pages and binding are presentable with no major defects. Minor issues present such as mild cracking, inscriptions, inserts, light foxing, tanning and thumb marking. Overall a good condition item. Paper cover has mild edge-wear with light rubbing and creasing. Some light marking and tanning.
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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ISBN 10
0099424916
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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1984
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ISBN 10
0553265954
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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ISBN 10
1416540261
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Scribner. Used - Good. Good condition. With remainder mark. A copy that has been read but remains intact. May contain markings such as bookplates, stamps, limited notes and highlighting, or a few light stains.
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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Used - Good
Published
1968
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Penguin Books, 1968. Paperback. Good. 1968. Reprinted. 211 pages. Paperback book with pictorial cover. Book is in better condition than most examples of this age. Neat, clean, well bound pages with very minimal foxing, tanning and thumbing. Small inscriptions and neat labels may be present. Paper cover has mild edge-wear with light rubbing and creasing. Some light marking… Read more about this item
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Darkness at Noon: A Novel

by Koestler, Arthur; translated by Daphne Hardy

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Used - Very Good
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American First
Published
1941
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Hardcover
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New Yorik, NY: The Macmillan Comapny, 1941. Book. Very Good. Hardcover. American First. Dust jacket shows considerable wear but is now protected by a mylar cover; otherwise a solid, clean copy with no marking or underlining; a very good reading copy.
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Darkness at Noon

Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur (trans.by Daphne Hardy)

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Used - Fine
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Slipcase Very Good+
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1st, This Ed.
Published
1980
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Hardcover
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London: Folio Society, 1980. 1st, This Ed. . Hardcover. Fine/Slipcase Very Good+. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Buday, George. 267pp.; HB blk.&gray w/gilt-pic.cover-red trim; bookplate,otherwise fine condition w/clean,tight pgs. Slipcase burgundy; slight rub w/dampstain,bttm. "The characters in this book are fictitious. The historical circumstances which determined their actions are real. The life of the man… Read more about this item
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DARKNESS AT NOON : A Novel (English Edition; original German title: Sonnenfinsternis)

by Arthur Koestler; (Translated from the German by Daphne Hardy)

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Very Good
Published
1941
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Hardcover
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New York, NY: The Modern Library/Random House, 1941. Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. Ex-Lib. Text/VG w/light stain to pg 80, small loss to lower corner of pg 213, and few bent corner tips. Vintage 1941, Modern Library, English translation. Darkness at Noon (original German title: Sonnenfinsternis) is the best known work of Hungarian-born Arthur Koestler (1905 - 1983). … Read more about this item
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Darkness at Noon (SIGNED)

by Koestler, Arthur

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Used - Near Fine
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Limited Edition
Published
1979
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Hardcover
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Franklin Center, Pennsylvania: The Franklin Library, 1979. Book. Illus. by Roth, George. Near Fine. Hardcover. Signed by Author(s). Limited Edition. 238 pages, 8vo. SIGNED by the author Arthur Koestler. Includes tissue guard on signature page. Illustrated by George Roth. Limited Edition. Bound in full leather boards with gilt lettering along spine, gilt design on front and rear covers. Full gilt… Read more about this item
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