“The world is a fine place and worth the fighting for and I hate very much to leave it”: First Edition of For Whom the Bell Tolls; J.D. Salinger's Copy

  • For Whom The Bell Tolls.
  • For Whom The Bell Tolls.

For Whom The Bell Tolls.

Item Number: 6008

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1940.

First edition with the Scribners A on the copyright page of the novel that is regarded as one of Hemingway’s best works. Octavo, original cloth. J.D. Salinger’s copy with his signature underneath the front flap. “By all accounts, Salinger first met Hemingway at the Hotel Ritz after the liberation of Paris in 1944. In a letter dated a couple of weeks later, on Sept. 4, 1944, Salinger tells his editor, Whit Burnett of Story Magazine, that he met Hemingway and found him soft in comparison to the hard, tough demeanor of his prose. Salinger also says Hemingway was generous, friendly and unimpressed by his own reputation. Salinger’s first impressions of Hemingway indicate his surprise about the difference between the author’s public and private persona, and as the letter to Burnett continues, he emphasizes not only Hemingway’s humility, but his generosity. Hemingway told Salinger he remembered him from one of his stories in Esquire, and he asked to read one of Salinger’s new stories. After Salinger gave Hemingway “The Last Day of the Last Furlough,” from The Saturday Evening Post, Hemingway said he had enjoyed the story. Beyond the fact that Hemingway knew Salinger from his work (one can only wonder how this must have made Salinger feel), his generous spirit toward the young writer extended beyond a token gesture. Salinger finishes his account of the meeting by telling Burnett that Hemingway was a good guy and that after reading his work, Hemingway said he would write a few letters on Salinger’s behalf, but Salinger declined the offer” (Bradlee McDuffie). One can only imagine the inspiration that Salinger received from this copy of For Whom The Bell Tolls. An outstanding association copy, linking two of the great writers of the twentieth century. Very good in the original first issue dust jacket without the photographer’s name on the back panel. 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.