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For Whom the Bell Tolls

By Hemingway, Ernest




Many consider For Whom the Bell Tolls to be author Ernest Hemingway’s finest work. Inspired by Hemingway’s time as a war correspondent for The North American Newspaper Alliance during the Spanish Civil War, For Whom the Bell Tolls is a stark and brutal commentary on the nature of war, sacrifice, and death. In fact, many believe his work is among the best depictions of the Spanish Civil War written. As with some of Hemingway’s other work, many of the characters, experiences, and events were based off real people and battles Hemingway saw. 

One of the most interesting qualities of For Whom the Bell Tolls is the use and restraint of profanity. Even though Hemingway had already written much about war and tribulations and had never seemed inclined to limit the use of vulgar language, For Whom the Bell Tolls is a clear exemption. When writing dialogue, Hemingway would insert the word “obscenity” instead of writing the exact word or phrase. There has been a lot of discussion about the reason for such omissions, and while some believe Hemingway was worried about the book being banned and thus wanted to make the book as reader-friendly as possible for a brutally violent war novel, others believe the omissions of profanity was due to transliteration problems and the author’s attempt to be as honest to the dialogue he heard as possible. 

There is no arguing with the legacy and influence Hemingway had not only on American culture, but also on generations of future writers. The Beatnik generation referred to Hemingway as “Papa” with a quite reverence, and Hemingway inspired countless journalists with his in-depth profiles and wartime articles. Even the cities where he wrote his books are now places for pilgrimage among his most devoted fans. Hemingway first started writing For Whom the Bell Tolls in Cuba and later finished it in Sun Valley, Idaho. In fact, both hotel rooms are now popular tourist destinations.

First edition identification and notes

Published in 1940 by Charles Scribner in an initial print run of 75,000 copies at $2.75, a first printing of For Whom the Bell Tolls has the letter A present on the copyright page and may have the Scribner's seal present, although it hasn't been conclusively determined whether this is in fact a point of issue. First state dust jackets do not have a photo credit under the photograph of Hemingway. 


Available copies: For Whom the Bell Tolls By Hemingway, Ernest


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For Whom the Bell Tolls.

HEMINGWAY, Ernest.

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,, 1940. Octavo. Original buff cloth, spine lettered black on red ground, facsimile signature to front board in black, top edge brown, fore edge untrimmed. With the dust jacket. Housed in a custom black half morocco solander box. Spine a little rubbed, a couple of marks to front cover, hinges cracked but holding, text block sound. A very good copy in the jacket with repair to spine panel at front fold, minor loss to spine spine ends, chips to tips, rubbing, nicks and creasing to extremities. First edition, first printing. Inscribed by Hemingway on the front free endpaper, "To Julia Quesada, with all good wishes. Ernest Hemingway. June 18 1953. San Francisco de Paula, Cuba." Hemingway's Cuban house, Finca Vigía, is located in San Francisco de Paula, a suburb of Havana; it was there that he began work on For Whom the Bell Tolls and he bought the property with some of the first royalties from the book. It became his primary residence after the Second World War, until the changing political landscape prompted him to leave for the last time in July 1960. With the relevant issue points: the Scribner's "A" to colophon, and in the first issue jacket without the photographer's credit.

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$17,066.25

image of For Whom the Bell Tolls.

For Whom the Bell Tolls.

HEMINGWAY, Ernest.

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons,, 1940. Octavo. Original beige cloth, titles to spine in black and red, and to front board in black, brown topstain. Housed in black quarter morcco solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. Contents toned, spine cocked and rubbed, cloth somewhat marked. Very good. First edition, first printing. With the author's signed presentation inscription beneath an original, non-authorial gift inscription to the front free endpaper, "For Sir Archibald Clark Kerr wishing him all good things all his life from his friend Ernest Hemingway Rangoon April 21 - 1941". Kerr was the Australian-born British diplomat who was at the time of the inscription, British ambassador to China. On meeting Hemingway, Kerr is reported to have said of him, "Tough? Why, I'm tougher than he is!" Kerr would subsequently go on to become ambassador to Russia and then to Washington; he was present at all of the Big Three conferences.

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$12,970.35

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway, Ernest

Scribner's, 1940 A fine first edition (with Scribner's A on the copyright page) in a fine first issue dust jacket (no reference to photographer on back panel), signed by the author Ernest Hemingway on a blank page after the front free endpaper. Housed in a custom-made collector's clamshell case with a leather spine.. Signed by Author(s). 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine/Fine.

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$11,000.00

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway, Ernest

Scribner's, 1940 A near fine first edition (with Scribner's A on the copyright page) in a good first issue dust jacket (no reference to photographer on back panel), inscribed by the author Ernest Hemingway in Cuba on the front free endpaper. Housed in a custom-made collector's clamshell case with a leather spine.. Inscribed by Author(s). 1st Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine/Good.

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$10,000.00

For Whom the Bell Tolls.

Hemingway, Ernest.

Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940. First edition, first printing., 1940.. First edition, first printing.. Very slight toning, still fine in near fine, faintly rubbed, price clipped dust jacket with two small chips expertly restored at head of spine, in mylar cover. A very handsome copy.. Tan linen with red title lables. In first issue dust jacket with no photographer's name on rear panel. Signed by the author.

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$9,000.00

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway, Ernest

Scribner's, 1940 A fine first edition (with Scribner's A on the copyright page) in a very good first issue dust jacket (no reference to photographer on back panel), signed by the author Ernest Hemingway on a blank page after the front free endpaper. Housed in a custom-made collector's slip0case.. Signed by Author(s). 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine/Very Good.

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$9,000.00

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway, Ernest

Scribner's, 1940 A fine first edition (with Scribner's A on the copyright page) rebound in leather, inscribed by the author Ernest Hemingway on the dedication page. Housed in a custom-made collector's clamshell case with a leather spine.. Inscribed by Author(s). 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine/No Jacket.

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$9,000.00

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway, Ernest

NewYork:: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940. A magnificent copy of Hemingway's masterpiece sumptuosly bound in full burgundy crushed morocco with gilt tooling and lettering. SIGNED BY ERNEST HEMINGWAY.. First Edition Signed. Full Burgundy Morocco. Fine. 8vo..

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$8,690.00

image of For Whom The Bell Tolls - SIGNED and INSCRIBED by the Author, Dated and Located

For Whom The Bell Tolls - SIGNED and INSCRIBED by the Author, Dated and Located

Hemingway, Ernest

Scribners, 1940. Hardcover. Good. A first US edition, first printing (with A on copyright page; in first state dust jacket), inscribed by Ernest Hemingway on title page to his friend (Cheveendo P.(?)), from San Francisco de Paula, Cuba in 1952. The book is in good condition with some rubbing and fading along spine an a circular stain on back cover - one previous owner's book plate on the front endpaper. The book comes with original first state dust jacket (unclipped with original $2.75 price), in good condition with some chipping. A very rare copy of one of the most seminal works of the twentieth century.

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$6,485.18

image of For Whom The Bell Tolls.

For Whom The Bell Tolls.

Hemingway, Ernest

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940. First edition, early printing of the novel that is regarded as one of Hemingway's best works. Octavo, original cloth. Inscribed by the author, "To Nicholas Wreden with all best wishes Ernest Hemingway." The recipient, Nicholas Wreden was an editorial director at E. P. Dutton, and noted translator of several Russian titles, among them Leo Tolstoy. Some toning to the spine, a very good example in an excellent dust jacket with a few small closed tears. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. For Whom the Bell Tolls combines two of Hemingway's recurring obsessions: war and personal honor. "This is the best book Ernest Hemingway has written, the fullest, the deepest, the truest. It will, I think, be one of the major novels of American literature Hemingway has struck universal chords, and he has struck them vibrantly" (J. Donald Adams). It was the basis for the 1943 film directed by Sam Wood, starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress; however, only the Greek actress Katina Paxinou won an Oscar for her portrayal of Pilar.

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$6,500.00

For Whom The Bell Tolls

HEMINGWAY, Ernest

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1955. Hardcover. Near Fine/Very Good+. Inscribed by Hemingway to his very close friend and fishing buddy, Charles Thompson: "For Lorine and Charles with love from Ernest. Sept. 20, 1957." Near fine copy in sun-tanned dust jacket, chipped at the head. A choice association copy of one of Hemingway's most enduring works. The decade or so that Hemingway lived in Key West were among his most productive years as a writer. He wrote in the mornings, fished in the afternoons, and often spent his evenings drinking with friends. One of those friends, many say his best friend, was Charles Thompson, the owner of a marine hardware store and a couple of other businesses. Charles went on an African safari with Ernest, and the character "Old Karl" in ''The Green Hills of Africa'' is based on him. There is also a lot of Charles Thompson in the character Harry Morgan in the novel "To Have and Have Not."

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$5,000.00

For Whom the Bell Tolls

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST

New York: Scribners, 1940. First Edition, First Issue. From the library of actor, Randolph Scott, with his signature on the front free endpaper and his bookplate affixed to the front pastedown. Very good copy with a hint of darkening and rubbing to the cloth at the spine in a very good lightly used dust jacket with some minor edge wear. Randolph Scott is best known for his film work in the Western genre, appearing in such classics as The Virginian, The Last Round-Up, The Desperadoes, The Nevadan, The Cariboo Trail, Ride the High Country, etc. He became one of the top box-office stars of the 1950s and, in the Westerns of Budd Boetticher especially, a critically important figure in the Western as an art form.

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$3,750.00

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway, Ernest

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940. First edition. Near Fine/Near Fine. A Nearly Fine copy of the book with offsetting to the end-papers (from publishers glue as usual) and slight off-set to the half-title. In a beautiful Nearly Fine dust jacket that is price clipped and shows a trivial nicks and rubs near the spine, but without chips, tears or fading. A book that is extremely difficult to find in this condition. Hemingway's captivating story of an American demolitions expert joining a band of rebels during the Spanish Civil War. Based in part on Hemingway's first-hand experiences in Spain during the 1936 - 1939 civil war. "'For Whom the Bell Tolls' is a tremendous piece of work. It is the most moving document to date on the Spanish Civil War, and the first major novel of the Second World War." (Contemporary NY Times Book Review). Near Fine in Near Fine dust jacket.

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$3,500.00

For Whom the Bell Tolls (First State)

Hemingway, Ernest

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940. First printing with Scribner's "A" at copyright. Beautifully signed by Ernest Hemingway on signature cut lightly adhered at title page. Very attractive. Extremely rare first state, unclipped 2.75 jacket without photo credit at back. Oatmeal colored full cloth boards w/author's stamped signature, crisp black spine titles on bright red field, lt. shelf wear. Deckled pages very good; no writing. Lt. brown top edge. Bind good, hinges intact. Dust jacket w/moderate chip, rub, discoloration at flaps; unclipped 2.75, protected in new clear sleeve. An attractive near fine signed first printing in near very good first state wrapper. Tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to an anti-fascist guerilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As an expert in the use of explosives, he is assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia. Told primarily through the thoughts and experiences of Robert Jordan, a character inspired by Hemingway's own experiences in the Spanish Civil War. Jordan travels to Spain to oppose the fascist forces of Generalísimo Francisco Franco. A superior has ordered him to travel behind enemy lines and destroy a bridge, using the aid of a group of guerrillas who have been living in the mountains nearby. Here, he encounters one of those in their camp, María, a young Spanish native whose life has been shattered by the outbreak of the war. His strong sense of duty clashes with both Republican leader Pablo's unwillingness to commit to a covert operation and his own joie de vivre that is kindled by his newfound love for María. The novel graphically describes the unutterable brutality of civil war. 471 pages. Insured post.. Signed by Author. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/Good. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Book.

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$2,750.00

For Whom The Bell Tolls

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST

New York: Scribner’s, 1940. First Edition. Endpapers a little browned; about fine in a dust jacket with very light wear and an unfaded spine.

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$2,750.00

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For Whom the Bell Tolls

HEMINGWAY, Ernest

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940. Very Good/Near Fine. First edition. Foxing to the boards and the endpapers, a very good copy in a very near fine (possibly supplied, but was with the book when it came to us) second issue dustwrapper with a little rubbing. Author James Jones's copy with his ownership Signature on the front pastedown. An interesting association between two men who are probably best known for their war novels.

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$2,500.00

image of For Whom The Bell Tolls - a superb copy of the first US issue

For Whom The Bell Tolls - a superb copy of the first US issue

Hemingway, Ernest

Scribners, 1940. Hardcover. Fine. A fine book without inscriptions, in a near fine (or better) unclipped wrapper with all the true first issue points. Some minor wear to the certain points of the top edge, but none of the usual chipping and creasing to the extremities - a superb copy and one of the best we have seen.

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$2,389.28

FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS

HEMINGWAY, ERNEST

NEW YORK: CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS, 1940. 1ST EDITION 1ST PRINTING. HARDCOVER. VERY GOOD/VERY GOOD. Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1940. Hardcover. Book Condition: VERY GOOD+. Dust Jacket Condition: VERY GOOD+. 1st Edition. First Edition, First Printing with the Scribner's "A" printed on the copyright page. This ORIGINAL dustjacket is rich in color with minor wear to the spine and edges. This First Issue dustjacket without the photographer's credit on the back panel has the publisher's $2.75 printed price present. The book is in wonderful shape. The binding is tight with light wear to the edges. Overall, a sharp copy of this TRUE FIRST EDITION with an acetate cover to protect the dust jacket.

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$1,912.50

image of For Whom The Bell Tolls.

For Whom The Bell Tolls.

Hemingway, Ernest

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940. First edition with the Scribners A of the novel that is regarded as one of Hemingway's best works. Octavo, original beige cloth. Fine in a near fine first issue dust jacket without the photographer's name on the rear panel, with a touch of rubbing and a closed tear to the rear panel. A very nice example. For Whom the Bell Tolls combines two of Hemingway's recurring obsessions: war and personal honor. "This is the best book Ernest Hemingway has written, the fullest, the deepest, the truest. It will, I think, be one of the major novels of American literature Hemingway has struck universal chords, and he has struck them vibrantly" (J. Donald Adams). It was the basis for the 1943 film directed by Sam Wood, starring Gary Cooper and Ingrid Bergman. It was nominated for nine Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Actress; however, only the Greek actress Katina Paxinou won an Oscar for her portrayal of Pilar.

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$1,800.00

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Hemingway, Ernest

Charles Scribner, 1940-01-01. Hardcover. LikeNew. Brian C. :Estate/Garage Sale B:Kiesling Estate Early Printing with no Scribner''s ""A"" - *Signed, inscribed and dated by Ernest Hemingway on a small piece of paper which is taped onto the ffep ""To Barrett C. Kiesling/ with sincere good wishes / always./ Ernest Hemingway. / Jan 29 1941""- Bound in original cloth with black lettering on red. Includes the original, unclipped dust jacket with publisher''s price ($2.75) on upper inside flap. The Jacket is in a removable, clear plastic (Brodart) protector. Mild shelf wear to jacket; a bit of chipping and creasing to edges and corners. - Otherwise, very clean, tight, square, and unmarked. - A Fine signed copy in a vg jacket. - [From the Library of Barrett C. Kiesling. Mr. Kiesling was Publicity Director for MGM (1928 ~ 1955). He also held related positions with: Realart Pictures 1922; Cecil B DeMille 1924-1927; Producers Distributing Corporation, 1927-28; Path� 1928].\r\n- This is a collectible item."Early Printing with no Scribner''s ""A"" - *Signed, inscribed and dated by Ernest Hemingway on a small piece of paper which is taped onto the ffep ""To Barrett C. Kiesling/ with sincere good wishes / always./ Ernest Hemingway. / Jan 29 1941""- Bound in original cloth with black lettering on red. Includes the original, unclipped dust jacket with publisher''s price ($2.75) on upper inside flap. The Jacket is in a removable, clear plastic (Brodart) protector. Mild shelf wear to jacket; a bit of chipping and creasing to edges and corners. - Otherwise, very clean, tight, square, and unmarked. - A Fine signed copy in a vg jacket. - [From the Library of Barrett C. Kiesling. Mr. Kiesling was Publicity Director for MGM (1928 ~ 1955). He also held related positions with: Realart Pictures 1922; Cecil B DeMille 1924-1927; Producers Distributing Corporation, 1927-28; Path� 1928].\r\n-".The book is signed.

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$1,799.95