ERNEST HEMINGWAY inscribed first edition DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON 1 of 10 for SCRIBNERS 1932
ERNEST HEMINGWAY inscribed first edition DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON 1 of 10 for SCRIBNERS 1932

ERNEST HEMINGWAY inscribed first edition DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON 1 of 10 for SCRIBNERS 1932


ERNEST HEMINGWAY inscribed first edition DEATH IN THE

AFTERNOON 1 of 10 for SCRIBNERS 1932



ERNEST HEMINGWAY first edition DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON, 1 of 10 inscribed for publisher in COOKE CITY, MONTANA, SEPTEMBER 1932

Hemingway proclaimed Cooke City, Montana one of his favorite places to write; and, from 1930 through 1939, Ernest Hemingway found his way back to this small western American town, usually to fish and hunt from mid-July to mid-October — and write. He often stayed in Cabin Number One on the L BarT Ranch, owned by the Nordquists. He wrote and/or completed many of his 1930s books in Cooke City, DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON being one of them.

April 1932 saw Hemingway leave Cuba for Key West, Florida. After several weeks there, he and his sister, Carol, drove in a V8 Ford Roadster to Piggott, Arkansas and stayed at that locale for a time.  In July, Hemingway drove to Cooke, Montana, carrying with him the galley proofs of DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON. In Cabin Number One of the L Bar T Ranch, Hemingway worked on corrections despite being superstitution about the abbreviated title on the top of each page, “Hemingway’s DEATH.” Hemingway wrote to Max Perkins complaining about this, expressing significant displeasure. So, when Sterling Galt, of Scribners, asked for 10 first edition copies of DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON to be autographed for use by the publisher, Hemingway resisted. Max Perkins was finally able to coerce Hemingway into fulfilling this request. (Reference Sterling Galt letter to Anne Roe, one of the recipients of an autographed first edition of DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON, October 5, 1932.  Anne Roe had been a bookseller long respected at Scribners. She had decided to retire just before the official release of DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON, yet still requested an inscribed first edition.  The Scribners staff honored Roe’s request and sent her 1 of the 10 copies inscribed in September 1932. DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON’s official release was September 23, 1932 {Carlos Baker; Jeffrey Meyers}).

Hemingway did not leave the Montana – Wyoming Yellowstone area from mid-July 1932 to mid-October 1932. As far as is known, the Roe limited first edition (1 of 10) is the only copy to have been personalized; the others were simply autographed by Hemingway, and then inscribed as this book is, with the “Cooke, Montana, September 1932” dateline.  They were then distributed privately by Scribners.

The Sterling Galt letter, which accompanies the Anna Roe first edition (not accompanied with this book), is the strongest provenance stating a limited edition of only 10 first editions of DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON inscribed by Ernest Hemingway while he resided in Cooke, Montana.  The Roe book and letter, along with Hemingway biographies by Baker and Meyers corroborate that the book being offered here is one of those 10 copies signed in Cooke, Montana.  Hemingway did leave the Yellowstone area in late October 1932.

This book is a first edition in original dust jacket inscribed by Hemingway on the second front endpaper. It is datelined, “September 1932,” similar to the Anne Roe first edition.

Both Carlos Baker (biographer) and Jeffrey Meyers (biographer) reiterate that, although sales for FAREWELL TO ARMS were strong weeks after publication, the encroaching Depression ultimately slowed returns for publisher and author, and especially in relation to the limited, signed edition of the book.  Therefore, Hemingway was highly resistant to another limited edition of one his books — DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON — unless this limited edition was of a highly exceptional quality with over 100 of his bullfighting photographs, as well as color inserts.  Scribners was not prepared to do that; and therefore, Hemingway resisted signing first editions of DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON  for publisher — except for the aforementioned 10 copies Hemingway inscribed in Cooke, Montana, a week or two before the September 23, 1932 official release.

This book is in near fine condition: gold-print on spine shows some very light fading, matching the spine of the dust jacket; black cloth is clean and fresh with just two short, thin scratches on front cover; interior pages are bright and clean, although they do exhibit the slightest of tanning; dust jacket is clean and bright with a few short end-tears and spine head lightly conserved with one strip of neutral pH, acid-free removable museum tape.

Hitherto uncatalogued limited inscribed first edition of DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON, 1 of 10 copies, inscribed by Ernest Hemingway in Cooke, Montana, September 1932.