A Farewell to Arms
Hard Cover. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1929. First Edition. Very Good / Dust Jacket Included.
First edition, first printing with no disclaimer on p. [x]; in its first issue dust jacket with "Katherine Barclay" misspelling to front flap. Publisher's black cloth with gold paper labels lettered in black to front board and spine; in the original pictorial dust jacket with a drawing by Cleon. Very good or better, with light rubbing to bottom edges of boards and foot of spine, paper labels bright and fresh, light offsetting to endpapers, mild edgewear to front and rear free endpapers, a touch of soiling to bottom edges of endpapers, a hint of dampstaining to fore edge of rear free endpaper, and some tearing to bottom edges of pp. 105 - 134; unclipped dust jacket with light toning to spine and board edges, some creasing and a small closed tear to top edge of front panel, small closed tear to bottom of front panel, light chipping to spine ends (mostly head of spine), small patch of dampstaining to bottom of rear panel, a few very light scratches to fore edge of rear panel, and lightly nicked corners. Overall, an excellent example in its scarce first issue dust jacket. Set in Italy during World War I, A Farewell to Arms tells the story of a romance between the protagonist Frederic Henry, an American serving as a lieutenant in the Italian ambulance corps, and Catherine Barkley, a British nurse tending to wounded soldiers. Widely considered one of the best novels to come from the war, the novel is, as the first edition dust jacket proclaims, "the very essence of beauty as twisted and made tragic by war" that "expresses the innermost nature of war." Unlike many of the other war novels by contemporary writers, A Farewell to Arms addresses not only the aftermath of WWI but the events of the war itself, specifically the Italian Front around the Battle of Caporetto of Autumn 1917. Accordingly, it stood out amongst the war novels, becoming Hemingway's first bestseller, and establishing him as a premier American writer. Interestingly, in his 1958 interview with The Paris Review, Hemingway famously remarked, "I rewrote the ending to A Farewell to Arms, the last page of it, thirty-nine times before I was satisfied."