Rare First Edition of Ernest Hemingway's First Book Three Stories and Ten Poems; One of an Edition of Only 300

  • Three Stories & Ten Poems.
  • Three Stories & Ten Poems.

Three Stories & Ten Poems.

Item Number: 97833

Paris: Contact Publishing Company, 1923.

First edition, one of only 300 published. Small octavo, original blue-gray wrappers as issued. In very good condition, with some wear to the extremities, Shakespeare and Company/Sylvia Beach bookseller’s label tipped to rear; a completely unrestored example. Housed in a custom clamshell box.

Ernest Hemingway's first collection was originally intended for William Bird's Three Mountains Press but, following a meeting with Robert McAlmon (1896-1956) in Rapallo, Hemingway agreed for it to appear under the imprint of McAlmon's Contact Publishing Co. As recorded on the colophon, the book was printed by Maurice Darantière of Dijon, who the year before had printed the first edition of Joyce's Ulysses for Sylvia Beach. As a replacement, Hemingway offered Bird a selection of prose vignettes bearing the collective title in our time, and this collection is advertised on the lower wrapper of Three Stories & Ten Poems, but in the event it did not appear until the following year. In 1923 Maurice Darantiere, the printer of Joyce’s Ulysses and many other expatriate works, printed Hemingway’s first book Three Stories and Ten Poems in Dijon. Six of the poems had been previously published, the remaining four and all three stories (“Up in Michigan,” “Out of Season” and “My Old Man”) appear here for the first time. The first version of Hemingway’s sexually frank story “‘Up in Michigan’ was written in Chicago in the late summer of 1921, just before Hemingway’s marriage to Hadley Richardson on September 3; the second and final version was written in Paris five months later” (Lynn, 109).