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 and Notes

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.

by KOESTLER, Arthur.

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Peter Harrington
Published
1940
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$2,821.80

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London: Jonathan Cape, , 1940. First edition, first impression. Octavo. Finely bound by the Chelsea Bindery in tan morocco, titles to spine gilt, raised bands, dark green endpapers, gilt edges. Some mild occasional foxing, a very good copy in a fine binding.
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Darkness at Noon (Modern Library, 74.3)

by Arthur Koestler

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Published
1940-06-01
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The Modern Library, 1940-06-01. Hardcover. Very Good. 1.1102 in x 9.1299 in x 6.5709 in. 1941 printing. Hardcover in original unclipped DJ. Light fraying to jacket edges, but no major flaws. Solid binding. Pages clean and unmarked. Good copy.
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Darkness At Noon

by Koestler, Arthur; translated by Daphne Hardy

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AB Books
Published
1956
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As New
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9780451012203
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New York: Signet / New American Library. As New. 1956. Paperback. 0451012208 .*** FREE UPGRADE to Courier/Priority Shipping Upon Request *** – – *** IN STOCK AND IMMEDIATELY AVAILABLE FOR SHIPMENT - TIght to spine - 189 pages.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Chapter 1 Books
Published
1940
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Good
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1st Edition
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9780224603867
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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
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Darkness at Noon.

by KOESTLER, Arthur.

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1940
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Jonathan Cape, London., 1940. First edition. Translated by Daphne Hardy. Octavo. 254 pages.Blind ownership stamp on front free endpaper. Covers marked. Spine scuffed and rubbed at head. Good copy in a poor late issue dustwrapper with reviews on it, including one by George Orwell, marked, rubbed and heavily chipped at top edge. Rare.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1941
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Fine
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1st Edition
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New York: The Macmillan Company. First Edition in English. DJ in archival cover chip tear and fold. . Fine. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 1941.
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Darkness At Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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mclinhavenbooks
Published
1941
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First Edition.
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New York: The McMillan Company, 1941. First Edition.. Hardcover. Very Good. Copyright date 1941, first edition, blue cloth over boards with silver lettering and design on the front and on the spine. No tears, a small bent corner on page 41, previous owners stamp on the inside front cover and flyleaf. No Dust Jacket. Shelf wear to… Read more
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Darkness At Noon.

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

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Waverley Books
Published
1979
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Near Fine in Fine dust jacket
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First Edition; First Printing
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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 Arthur Koestler

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1979
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First Edition
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Franklin Center: Franklin Library/ Oxford University Press, 1979. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/No Dj. 8vo. Signed by Author. pp. (20), 238, full gilt-embossed black leather binding, AEG, silk endpapers, satin ribbon. A limited edition, signed by the author. ""Originally published in 1941, Arthur Koestler's modern masterpiece, Darkness At Noon, is a powerful and haunting portrait of a Communist… Read more
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Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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M&J Books
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1941
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First
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First Edition of this seminal novel on the authoritarian state. .. Blue cloth over boards with silver lettering on the front (AK) and on the spine. Some fraying at top cover corners and top and bottom of spine; and same age discoloration on the inside covers. Otherwise, no apparent fault; no tears or blemishes.
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Darkness at Noon

by KOESTLER, Arthur

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Published
1979
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fine
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Franklin Center: Franklin, 1979. hardcover. fine. George Roth. Illustrated in blue and black by George Roth. 238 pages, 8vo, gilt-stamped black leather, a.e.g. The Franklin Library, 1979. Limited edition. Fine.<br/><br/> Signed by the author on preliminary page.<br/><br/>
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Darkness At Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Books Tell You Why, Inc.
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1979
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Fine
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Franklin Center, PA: Franklin Library. Fine. 1979. Limited Signed Edition; Signed by Author. 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… Read more
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Darkness at Noon [SIGNED]

by Koestler, Arthur

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Eric Chaim Kline - Bookseller
Published
1979
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vg
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Limited edition
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Franklin Center: Franklin Library, 1979. Limited edition. Hardcover. vg. Signed. 4to. 238pp. Original gilt stamped full leather cover with gold lettering on spine. Gilt edges. Orange silk moiré insides with matching bound-in ribbon. Protective tissue over author's signature. Translated from German by Daphne Hardy. Illustrated with six black and blue colored full-page plates by George Roth. … Read more
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Darkness At Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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MAB Books
Published
1983
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Limited Ed
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Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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Budun Archivum - Rare Books from Budapest
Published
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
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Darkness At Noon (Signed Leatherbound Edition)

by Koestler, Arthur

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Derringer Books
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1979
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Fine
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Reprint
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Franklin, PA: The Franklin Library, 1979. Reprint. Leather Bound. Fine. Fine full leatherbound edition of the Koestler classic. 238 pp. Translated into English by Daphne Hardy. Illustrated by George Roth. SIGNED by the author on a special tipped in page and protected by a tissue guard. Book comes with the separate Notes From The Editor booklet.
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Darkness at Noon Koestler, Arthur

by Koestler, Arthur

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Twice Sold Tales
Published
1941-06-01
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9780025652002
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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
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Darkness At Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Old Editions Inc.
Published
1979
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Limited Signed Edition
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Franklin Center, PA: The Franklin Library. 1979. Limited Signed Edition. NF, top left corner front board lightly scuffed, bit otherwise a tight solid sound tight copy. ; 8vo, black genuine leather, gilt dec. Covers, gilt dec. Spine with gilt lettering, raised bands spine, all page edges gilt, silk moire eps, attached ribbon place marker, 238pp. Translated by… Read more
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DARKNESS AT NOON

by KOESTLER, ARTHUR

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Gian Luigi Fine Books Inc.
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1979
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A LIMITED EDITION
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FRANKLIN CENTER, PA: THE FRANKLIN LIBRARY, 1979. GILT-EDGES, RIBBON.. Signed By Author. A LIMITED EDITION. LEATHER BOUND. FINE. Illus. by GEORGE ROTH.
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Darkness at Noon (SIGNED)

by Koestler, Arthur

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Russian Hill Bookstore
Published
1979
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Near Fine
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Limited Edition
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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
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Darkness At Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Bookbid Rare Books
Published
1979
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Fine
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Limited Edition
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The Franklin Library; Franklin Center Pennsylvania, 1979. Limited Edition. Hardcover. Fine/No Jacket. Fine signed limited edition. Signed by the author on the front free end page. Limited edition stated on the copyright page. Includes a special letter of introduction from the author not found in regular trade editions. Full leather bound with gilt detailing. Original owner's bookplate on… Read more
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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9780025652101
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Macmillan Company. book in fine condition, no DJ.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Mullen Books, Inc. ABAA / ILAB
Published
1979
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Fine. A beautiful, unread copy. Signed on a front free end paper.
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Signed Limited Edition
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Franklin Center, Pennsylvania: The Franklin Library, 1979. Signed Limited Edition. Leather bound. Fine. A beautiful, unread copy. Signed on a front free end paper.. Black leather/boards; gilt decoration all around. Gilt lettering and 2 raised bands on spine. Silk moire end papers with matching satin place-holder ribbon. All edges gilt. 238 pp. with illustrations by George Roth. No… Read more
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Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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Schwabe Books
Published
2013
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Very Good
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The Classics of Liberty Library, 2013. Hardcover. Very Good. . Full grey leather with vibrant gilt lettering and embellishments. All edges gilt, raised bands on spine, silk bookmark. Faint wear to underside of edges may be present due to storage. Otherwise near fine, unread.
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Darkness at Noon (Signed)

by Arthur Koestler

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Schwabe Books
Published
1979-01-01
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Franklin Library, 1979-01-01. Leather Bound. Very Good. 0.2000 9.1000 5.9000. Limited edition. SIGNED by author. Original owner's bookplate under signature. Full black leather with vibrant gilt lettering and embellishments. All edges gilt, raised bands on spine, silk bookmark. Light shelf wear may be present due to storage.
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Darkness At Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Danbom and Son Books
Published
1979
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As New
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Limited Edition
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Franklin Center: The Franklin Library. As New. 1979. Limited Edition. Hardcover. A tight, clean, UNREAD copy, SIGNED by the author. Shipped in a Multi-D box to prevent corner-bumping. Danbom & Son Books is a member of the Rocky Mountain Antiquarian Booksellers Assn. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; Signed by Author .
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Maxwell's House of Books
Published
1979
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Fine
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Franklin, Center, PA: Franklin Library. A clean, crisp, full-leather hardcover in fine condition. SIGNED by the author. . Fine. Hardcover. 1979.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Maxwell's House of Books
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1979
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The Franklin Library. A beautiful clean crisp leatherbound limited edition hardcover copy in fine condition. Signed by author. . Fine. Hardcover. 1979.
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The Coins of Estados Unido Mexicanos,1905-1965 With Revisions A Supplement.

by Utberg, Neil S

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Cocksparrow Books
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1967-01-01
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SOFTBACK PAMPHLETS ?UNCOMMON, with REVISIONS SUPPLEMENT,? SHIPPED FROM THE UK.* Edition: 1st. Thus.* Date of Publication: 1965* Publisher: Sociedad Numismatica de Mexico.* Binding and cover condition: Soft olive green card covers, stapled binding (slightly rusted). No creases to spine or hinge. Edges and spine somewhat aged VG* Contents condition: PRIVATE COPY NOT EX-LIBRARY, clean, crisp & tight. No annotations or… Read more
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur (trans.by Daphne Hardy)

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Xochis Bookstore and Gallery
Published
1980
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London: Folio Society, 1980. 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 N.S. Rubashov is a synthesis of the lives of a number of men who were victims of the… Read more
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Darkness at Noon : A Novel

by Arthur Koestler

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ThriftBooks
Published
2019
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Good
ISBN
9781501161315
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Scribner, 2019. Paperback. Good. Pages can have notes/highlighting. Spine may show signs of wear. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket in good condition. Shelf and handling wear to cover and binding, with general signs of previous use. 1941 FIRST EDITION HARDCOVER. SECOND PRINTING Secure packaging for safe delivery.Dust jacket quality is not… Read more
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DARKNESS AT NOON

by Arthur Koestler

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Better World Books
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Used - Good
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9780553201352
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Used - Good. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Alba's Books
Published
1941
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Very Good
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First Edition
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The Macmillan Co., 1941. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. Octavo. Original blue cloth with silver titles and designs and single date on copyright page. Jacket is a faithful first edition facsimile and like new. A fine, clean and unmarked copy with mild rubbing to edges. Still a very attractive, solid copy.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Maxwell's House of Books
Published
2000
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Near Fine
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Special Edition
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The Easton Press. A beautiful clean crisp leatherbound hardcover copy in near fine condition, faintest foxing to gilt at top edge of textblock. No DJ as issued. . Near Fine. Hardcover. Special Edition. 2000.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Taos Books
Published
1941-01-01
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Very Good
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New York: Modern Library, 1941-01-01. Hardcover. Very Good. Tight clean unmarked, NO age toning in text, dust jacket NOT price-clipped, dj show shelf and edge wear and tiny chips and tears along edges, removed dust jacket shows light toning on the inside, Very Good/Good.
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DARKNESS AT NOON

by Arthur Koestler

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Rare Book Cellar
Published
1941
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Book-Of-the-Month-Club
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New York: MacMillan. 1941. Book-Of-the-Month-Club. Hardcover. Very Good+ in a Very Good+ dust jacket. Light shelf wear on front/rear panels. Rubbing along panel edges. .
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Darkness at Noon : A Novel

by Arthur Koestler

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2019
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First Edition
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9781501161315
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Scribner, 2019. First Edition. Paperback. Good. Missing dust jacket; Pages can have notes/highlighting. Spine may show signs of wear. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket missing. First edition. Shelf and handling wear to cover and binding, with general signs of previous use. VINTAGE FIRST EDITION HARDCOVER, 1941. Secure packaging for safe delivery.Dust… Read more
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Darkness at Noon (Modern Library, 74.3)

by Arthur Koestler

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Published
1940
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9780394600741
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The Modern Library, 1940. Hardcover. Very Good. May have limited writing in cover pages. Pages are unmarked. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket in good condition. Minor shelf and handling wear, overall a clean solid copy with minimal signs of use. Protected by mylar cover. No extraneous markings. All pages… Read more
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Darkness at Noon (Modern Library, 74.3)

by Arthur Koestler

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1940
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9780394600741
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The Modern Library, 1940. Hardcover. Very Good. May have limited writing in cover pages. Pages are unmarked. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket in good condition. Minor shelf and handling wear, overall a clean solid copy with minimal signs of use. Protected by mylar cover. No extraneous markings. All pages… Read more
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Darkness At Noon -

by Arthur Koestler -

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Infospec
Published
1961
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Good
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Signet Publishing -, 1961. Hardcover/Gd. condition/222 pages - The characters in this text are fictitious, the historical circumstances wheich determined their actions are real. (K2122HI3). Hard Cover. Good.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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2Vbooks
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9780451502797
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Signet Classics. Mass-market paperback. Fair. No dust jacket as issued. Satisfaction Guaranteed, fast shipping, please feel free to ask any questions!. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. Audience: General/trade. .
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Darkness at Noon

by Arthur Koestler

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Adash Books
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Great Condition. There may be a few scratches to the gilt of the book.
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Norwalk, CT: Easton Press. Hardcover. Great Condition. There may be a few scratches to the gilt of the book. . This Easton Press Collector's Edition is bound genuine leather, with elegant gilt design to boards, gilded page-edges, and endpapers of silk-moire fabric. The classic hubbed spines of four raised bands have 22K gold accents and there is… Read more
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Darkness at Noon [Hardcover] Arthur Koestler

by Arthur Koestler

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Hardcover. Very Good. Very good decorative black cloth, In no dustjacket. First ed. first printing, with same 1941 date on title and copyright page, no book club blindstamp. And "set up and electrotyped." 1941. Except for owner's signature and JUNE 1941 date on front fly, no reader, remainder, or ex-library marks. Brief edgewear only. Sound… Read more
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Revaluation Books
Published
2019
Condition
New
ISBN
9781982123734
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Scribner, 2019. Hardcover. New. 249 pages. 8.00x6.00x0.50 inches.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Revaluation Books
Published
2019
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New
ISBN
9781982123734
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Scribner, 2019. Hardcover. New. 249 pages. 8.00x6.00x0.50 inches.
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Darkness at noon

by Arthur Koestler

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Tommygun books
Published
1953
Condition
Good
Edition
first, 10th impression
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$35.00

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DW. price clipped...but there happens to be another price on the back flap, not sure about that. DW toned and and stained but the book and wrapper are tight and solid, almost unread. No inscriptions. 1st Edition:10th impression.
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

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Chapter 1 Books
Published
1941
Condition
Fair
Edition
2nd Edition
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Jonathan Cape, 1941. 2nd Edition. Hardcover. Fair. the boards of the book are very worn and marked and the top of the spine is frayed. there are several stamp marks and a previous owner's signature on the front end page. there are a few age related marks but the book is mostly clean internally and well bound. … Read more
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$35.00
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Darkness at Noon.

by KOESTLER, Arthur.

Seller
Grendel Books, ABAA/ILAB
Published
1980
Condition
Very Good in Very Good dust jacket
Item Price
$35.00

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Description:
London:: Folio Society,. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. 1980. Hardcover. B000KWQ6BK . Translated from the German by Daphne Hardy. Introduction by Vladimir Bukovsky. First edition thus. Very good in a very good (minor edge wear and some fading) slipcase. .
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$35.00
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

Seller
J. E. MILES, A BOOKSELLER
Published
1962
Condition
Good
Item Price
$34.95

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Description:
Time Inc. Book Division. Good. 1962. Soft Cover. (L101) .
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$34.95
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Darkness at Noon

by Koestler, Arthur

Seller
J. E. MILES, A BOOKSELLER
Published
1941
Condition
Fair/No Dust Wrapper
Edition
Underlined, Name inked on Fep
Item Price
$34.95

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Description:
modern Library. Fair/No Dust Wrapper. 1941. Underlined, Name inked on Fep. Hard Cover. (R73) book is curved .
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Item Price
$34.95