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How can I tell which printing of which edition my books are?

The man. The myth.

How can I tell which printing of which edition my books are?

Postby chaosink » 23 Feb 2010, 05:54

I have been checking all over the internet to find out and there is SO MUCH conflicting information! My books do not say first printing but they also have no numbers and do not say which printing or editions they are. I would be happy to take pictures of the books and the pages with the publishers info and send them.

They are all printed by Macmillan, and they have no dust jackets which furthur complicates matters. They are hardcovers and I hesitate to say they are leather but they are not cloth covered. Every book is a different color and the names and/ or pictures on the covers are in black print. I would have to double check on which book is which color.

They just say copyright 1950, 1952,etc printed by Macmillan, address, usa, etc etc.. but no numbers, nothing. I tried to look up typographical errors which indicate printing but I had no luck down this avenue, either.

I have the whole set except The Last Battle. I know the value of the books would be greatly increased if the set was complete.I contacted a local antiquarian but he wasn't really interested in helping me. He basically said the books are not pristine so they are worthless.

If anyone has any idea of how I could find this information out I would greatly appreciate any advice/ help.
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Re: How can I tell which printing of which edition my books are?

Postby Sven » 23 Feb 2010, 20:56

Welcome, chaosink!

I'll give you the information for the first editions. My guess is what you have is the set of 6 that was printed shortly before The Last Battle came out. The true first editions were published by Geoffrey Bles in the UK, so anything by MacMillian would be at best the US first. Without dust jackets, they really aren't worth much, even if they were firsts. If they are MacMillian firsts, they would each have printed on the back of the title page First Printing. As to the colors of the covers, the following information comes from Edwin W. Brown's In Pursuit of C. S. Lewis, probably the most comprehensive guide to Lewis firsts:

LWW: Dark blue.
PC: Yellow-green.
VDT: Gray-blue.
SC: Very dark blue.
HHB: Pink-brown.
MN: Light green.
LB: LIght blue-green.
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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