Rust red boards stamped in black. Title page and copyright page should both say 1918 with no other statement of printings. Dust jacket is extremely rare and adds most of the value to the book. Price is stated on the spine. The price on the first issue jacket was $1.40. On later issue jackets, that price was blotted out by the publisher, and $1.50 was written below it.
The Magnificent Ambersons book won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
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Picture of the 1918 first edition dust jacket for The Magnificent Ambersons.
Picture of the copyright page for The Magnificent Ambersons.
Picture of dust jacket where original $1.40 price is found for The Magnificent Ambersons.
Picture of the back dust jacket for the first edition of The Magnificent Ambersons.
Picture of the first edition Doubleday Page boards for The Magnificent Ambersons.
Picture of the back dust jacket flap for The Magnificent Ambersons.
Picture of the title page for The Magnificent Ambersons.
Signature of Booth Tarkington. Photo courtesy of James Cahill/Rare Books, Inc.
Picture of the front dust jacket flap for the first edition of The Magnificent Ambersons.
April 4, 2011, 1:35 pm
April 4, 2011
First and foremost, permit me to commend you and all of your associates for having constructed and maintained so exceptionally useful, beautifully designed, and superbly researched a site as this one, which specializes in Pulitzer Prize fiction, as well as your related sites specializing in National Book Award winners and other modern classic first editions.
I have collected first edition literature for some thirty-eight years, and my assembly of Pulitzer Prize literature, in which I am now partnered with a lifelong friend to bring about a national institutionalization of it and an ensuing philanthropic foundation that will itself recognize fine literary effort, medical innovation and individual and collective philanthropy in all fifty states, has been called by a number of your antiquarian colleagues as being near if not truly definitive.
I have indeed all of the Pulitzer Prize fiction, in their original wrappers and in proper first state, most of which are author signed and/or inscribed. I have nearly the whole of Pulitzer winners in all other categories, likewise in their original wrappers and in proper first state and most of which are similarly author signed and/or inscribed. You truly ought to include the other categories, as brilliantly as you have the fiction titles, and I shall be honored to assist you in that process, when my own time permits.
Regarding this title, Tarkington's THE MAGNIFICENT AMBERSONS, I shall be sending you forth images of the first state dustwrapper in good time. However, you should know at the outset that the price on the spine of the dust wrapper in first state is $1.40. Later issue and printing dustwrappers have that original price blotted out by the publisher, and below it written the price $1.50. The original wrapper, in any form, is now exceptionally rare.
Rather than writing to update the many other Pulitzer Prize fiction titles individually, within this space I am also emending your superb commentaries, in their order of winning the Pulitzer Prize, as follows. You might emend your individual title entries accordingly to include this new information under each separate listing. I am confined to 3,000 characters, so I shall post repeatedly in this space to you until all emendations have been submitted.
With gratitude for your great dedication and every good wish, I remain,
Larry James Gianakos
September 1, 2011, 7:11 pm
I own a third, unpriced variant of this dustwrapper, identical to the two priced variants noted above except for the lack of any price at all and a higher posiitioning of the word "Illustrated" on the spine. (A picture of this unpriced variant appears on page 15 of the December 2010 edition of Firsts magazine.) That the $1.40-priced variant precedes the $1.50-priced variant is certainly a rational inference with which one is hard put to quarrel. This does not establish that the former is necessarily the "first state" dustwrapper, however. Whether the unpriced variant precedes or follows the priced variants (I am assuming intuitively that it does not fall in between), and whether the book was ever marketed in the unpriced variant, are, so far as I have able to determine, matters of conjecture. That the unpriced variant was manufactured first, presumably before the publisher finalized its price, is theoretically plausible. Definitive evidence establishing the priority of these three variants would be welcome, but none to my knowledge has been unearthed thus far. Of course, each variant is quite scarce and desirable irrespective of what the order of priority may be.
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