Kate Troy wrote:
> About the first edition of the Waste Land - are there any true first
> out there and how much would a true first edition be worth?
There were 1,000 copies of the Boni and Liveright book published (December
1922, if January 1923 it would still be copyright protected in the U.S.)
Plenty are still around and some are available for purchase. I guess that
with the internet around now most are being sold at auction rather than sold
at a shop.
One site below estimates a $6,000 to $9,000 winning bid.
P.S. - While I was searching I found some pages about the Berg Collection:
Lot No. 59. Eliot, T.S, "The Waste Land". Flexible black cloth, jacket,
original glassine. No. 89 of 1000 copies. First Edition, First Issue.
New York: Boni & Liveright, 1922.
Robert Schoenlank has collected English literature, especially poetry,
for more than twenty years. The collection spans the 16th through the
20th centuries and includes some very remarkable and rare titles. His
collection is especially rich in titles from the exhibition catalogue,
English Poetry, compiled by John Hayward, a noted English scholar, in
1947. The Schoenlank auction will consist of 225 lots. Highlights in the
auction include Alfred, Lord Tennyson's first book which he wrote with
his brother, Charles, Poems by Two Brothers, published in London in
1827, and estimated $1500/2500. The 1816 first edition of Percy Bysshe
Shelley's celebrated poem, Alastor, will also be offered in the auction
at an estimate of $3000/4000, as will Alexander Pope's An Essay on
Man..., 1733-34, at the same estimate. On a modern note, T.S. Eliot is
well-represented in the auction with both a limited first edition of his
first book, Prufrock and Other Observations, dated London, 1917
($3000/5000) and a first issue of The Waste Land, New York, 1922
($6000/9000) going up on the block. Overall, the Schoenlank auction is a
who's who of English poetry-- from the well-known to the obscure--it is
one of the most important collections of its kind to appear at auction
in recent years.
Donald Gallup is presenting his T. S. Eliot collection to the Library.
The "A" and "B" sections alone comprise 173 works in 1037 volumes. The
examples on view suggest the depth of the bibliographer's work to
identify variants and to obtain copies.
120. Eliot, T.S. The Waste Land. Flexible black cloth. No. 265 of 1000
copies. First Edition. New York: Boni & Liveright Second Issue with "a"
dropped in "mountain" on p.41, line 339. About 500 of the First Issue &
500 of the Second Issue were published. A bit of sunning to spine, else
near fine. (1500/2500)
One of 300 Copies Signed by T.S. Eliot
45. ELIOT, T.S. The Waste Land. London: 1961. Limited to 300
numbered copies printed by Giovanni Mardersteig at the Officina Bodoni
in Verona. Signed by the author. Quarto. Original quarter vellum over
marbled boards. Library stamps skillfully removed from three pages,
still a fine copy. In a marbled cardboard slipcase. Barr 63. Gallup,
Eliot, A6d. Mardersteig 124. $2,000
59. Eliot, T.S. The Waste Land. Flexible black cloth, jacket, original
glassine. No. 89 of 1000 copies. First Edition, First Issue. New York:
Boni & Liveright, 1922.
Gallup A6a; Hayward 332 - First issue, in the flexible cloth binding.
Although Gallup remarks that "the first copies printed have the word
`mountain' correctly spelled in line 339 (page 41); in later copies the
`a' has dropped out," that point is not the true indication of the
issue, but only of the place in the press run of the sheet on which that
page was printed. During the printing of the sheet containing that page,
the letter "a" worked loose, so that the copies were printed with the
"a" correctly placed, out-of-alignment, or missing altogether. Since the
sheets were selected for binding at random, the presence of the "a" is
indicative only of the printing of that particular sheet, not of the
book as a whole. (In this copy, the "a" has dropped out.) The first
issue of the book, denoted by the flexible cloth binding, numbered about
500 copies, with the remaining 500 copies of the first edition being
bound in a more solid cloth. Just a touch of soiling and edge wear to
the jacket, else fine. (6000/9000).