"In the dry compressed little vignettes of In Our Time, [he] has almost invented a form of his own... I am inclined to think that this little book has more artistic dignity than anything else about the period of the war that has yet been written by an American." -Edmund Wilson, 1924
FIRST EDITION, number 80 of only 170 copies, of Hemingway's second book - the book that would define his style and help launch his career. Printed on Rives hand-made paper and with woodcut portrait frontispiece after Henry Strater.
"From their first appearance in 1924, the in our time chapters have been recognized by their author, readers, and critics as profoundly compelling prose in an altogether new form. '[I]t is where I think I have gotten hold of it,' Hemingway wrote to Edmund Wilson a few months after finishing them (25 Nov. 1923, in Selected Letters 105). Wilson, the most influential critic of his time for Hemingway's generation, agreed: '[H]is prose is of the first distinction,' Wilson declared in on of the book's first reviews and added, 'he is… strikingly original, and in the dry compressed little vignettes of In Our Time [sic], has almost invented a form of his own' ('Dry Points' 120)…
"Numerous other reviewers, who had never heard of Ernest Hemingway, shared Wilson's enthusiasm, and even those repelled by Hemingway's violent subject matter acknowledged the power of his prose. Fellow writers, too, recognized that, as Scott Fitzgerald put it in recommending the book to his publisher, 'He's the real thing.'" (Cohen, Hemingway's Laboratory: The Paris in our time).
Provenance: With decorative bookplate of Helen Hamilton by the noted American artist Ralph Fletcher Seymour on front pastedown. Hamilton is possibly the American writer and political activist Helen Hamilton Gardener (1853-1925).
Paris: Three Mountains Press, 1924. Tall octavo, original publisher's decorated tan paper boards; custom cloth box. A few spots of rubbing to spine, one corner lightly bumped; boards a little bowed; usual discoloration to endpapers. A very nice copy. With only 170 copies printed, the scarcest of all Hemingway titles.
Price: $39,000 .