The Old Man and the Sea.

"But man is not made for defeat," he said. "A man can be destroyed but not defeated": Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea; Inscribed by Him to one of his oldest friends Waldo Peirce's Daughter

The Old Man and the Sea.


Item Number: 121346

New York: Charles Scribner's & Sons, 1952.

First edition, early printing of Hemingway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel and one of his most famous works. Octavo, original blue cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “For Karen from her friend Ernest Hemingway.” The recipient was the daughter of Waldo Peirce, one of Hemingway’s oldest friends. After WWI had come to an end, Peirce befriended Hemingway in Europe and the two traveled together to various continental locations, in particular Spain. In 1937, Peirce painted a portrait of Hemingway which appeared on the cover of the October 18th issue of Time Magazine. Peirce was once called “the Ernest Hemingway of American painters.” To that he replied, “They’ll never call Ernest Hemingway the Waldo Peirce of American writers.” Laid in is a letter of provenance signed by and in Karen Pierce’s hand dated Sept. 6, 2007, “When I was 10 years old, Ernest Hemingway came to our house in Tucson, Arizona, to visit my father, Waldo Peirce. He signed a book for everyone in the family, and I got The Old Man and the SeaKaren Peirce.” Near fine in a near fine first-issue dust jacket with light rubbing, newspaper clipping to the half-title page. Photograph of Hemingway by Lee Samuels. An exceptional example. Signed examples of this work are uncommon, presentation copies even more so, particularly with such noted provenance.

Upon its publication in 1952 by Charles Scribner's Sons, The Old Man and the Sea was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction the following year and was cited by the Nobel Committee as contributing to the awarding of the Nobel Prize in Literature to Hemingway in 1954. The novel reinvigorated Hemingway's literary reputation. It initiated a reexamination of his entire body of work. The novel was received with such alacrity, that it restored many readers' confidence in Hemingway's capability as an author. Indeed, the publisher even wrote on an early dust jacket, calling the novel a "new classic," and it was compared by many critics to such revered works as William Faulkner's "The Bear" and Herman Melville's Moby-Dick.

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