Archives for first editions

First Edition ‘Lord Jim’ by Joseph Conrad #oldbooks #bookcovers

Born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski on December 3, 1857 in Stolen Lands, Ukraine [then part of the Russian Empire, but once part of Poland] Joseph Conrad finally setted in England after living in Poland and France. On July 2,1886 he applied for British nationality, which was granted on August 19, 1886.Lord Jim was first published in the UK in 1900 by William Blackwood & Sons, having being serialised the previous year in ‘Blackwood’s Magazine’. There are many literary and film references to the novel. ‘Lord Jim’ is the name of a boat, and subsequently the nickname of the boat’s owner, Richard Blake, in Offshore by Penelope Fitzgerald, winner of the Booker Prize in 1979. Read my review of Offshore. In 1998, Lord Jim appeared at number 85 in American publisher Modern Library’s list of the One Hundred Best English Language Novels in the 20thCentury. The current Penguin Classics edition [above] dates from 2007. BUY The story An English boy in a simple town has dreams bigger than the outdoors and embarks at an early age into the sailor’s life. The waters he travels reward him with the ability to explore the human spirit, while Conrad launches the story into both an
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Categories: Book Love.

First Edition: Jurassic Park

First published in the USA on November 20, 1990, Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton would, like HG Wells and Jules Verne, bring science fiction to the masses and to the movie screen. The book actually started life as a screenplay written in 1983 in which a graduate student creates a dinosaur. Then, given the fact that genetic research is expensive and there was no need to create a dinosaur, Crichton changed the story so the dinosaurs were made to put into an entertaining wildlife park. Another thing changed from first to final draft was the point of view: originally it was told from a child’s viewpoint, but Crichton changed it when everyone who read the draft felt it would be better told by an adult. A signed US 1st edition [above] is for sale [at time of going to press] on eBay for $225. Read more about the first edition of the 1991 UK hardback edition [below] published by Century at Biblio.  The story Following strange animal attacks in Costa Rica and nearby island Isla Nublar, one of the animals involved is identified as an extinct dinosaur. Palaeontologist Alan Grant and paleobotanist Ellie Satler are asked to confirm this, but are
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Categories: Book Love.

First Edition: Watership Down

It is a book which begun as a tale told by a father to his two daughters. Surely everyone has read Watership Down by Richard Adams. The story In Southern England lives at Sandleford Warren, a community of rabbits. They live in their natural environment but anthropomorphized so they have their own voices, culture, language, proverbs and mythology. This is a book which rewards re-reading. Fiver, the runt of the litter, is also a seer. When he forsees the destruction of their warren, Fiver and and his brother Hazel try to convince the other rabbits to flee with them. Unsuccessful, they set out on their own with 11 other rabbits to search for a new home. Hazel, previously an unimportant member of the warren, finds himself leader of the group. Fiver has visions about a safe place to settle, and so they find Watership Down. But still, they are not safe. First UK edition The first UK edition was published in November 1972 by Rex Collings. At the time, Collings famously wrote to an associate, “I’ve just taken on a novel about rabbits, one of them with extra-sensory perception. Do you think I’m mad?” The book took Adams two years to
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Categories: Book Love.