Book Collecting

H. G. Wells– First Edition Books: Identification Guide

H. G. Wells
H. G. Wells

Herbert George Wells (1866 – 1946) was an English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography and autobiography. His work also included two books on recreational war games. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called the “father of science fiction”, along with Jules Verne and the publisher Hugo Gernsback.

During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale. A futurist, he wrote a number of utopian works and foresaw the advent of aircraft, tanks, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellite television and something resembling the World Wide Web. His science fiction imagined time travel, alien invasion, invisibility, and biological engineering. Brian Aldiss referred to Wells as the “Shakespeare of science fiction”, while Victorian scholar Charles Fort referred to him as a “wild talent”.

H.G. Wells rendered his works convincing by instilling commonplace detail alongside a single extraordinary assumption – dubbed “Wells’s law” – leading Joseph Conrad to hail him in 1898 as “O Realist of the Fantastic!”. His most notable science fiction works include The Time Machine (1895), which was his first novel, The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), The Invisible Man (1897), The War of the Worlds (1898) and the military science fiction The War in the Air (1907). Wells was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times.

Wells was an important influence on British science fiction of the period after the Second World War, with Arthur C. Clarke and Brian Aldiss expressing strong admiration for Wells’s work. Among contemporary British science fiction writers, Stephen Baxter, Christopher Priest and Adam Roberts have all acknowledged Wells’s influence on their writing.

H. G. Wells – First Edition Identification Guide

Note: This list only includes works published prior to 1977.

How to Identify First Edition books by H. G. Wells Guide
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/printing identification points
1928THE ADVENTURES OF TOMMYLondon: The Amalgamated Press, Ltd., [1928]Wrappers. No [number Inserted]/Limited and Numbered/EDITION-DE-LUXE/ Published//or private circulation only on title page.
ALSO: London Bombay Sydney: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., [1929]. Boards with cloth shelf back. First published 1929 on © page. First hardcover edition.
1940ALL ABOARD FOR ARARATLondon: Seeker & Warburg, 1940First Published 1940 on © page.
1909ANN VERONICALondon: T. Fisher Unwin, MCMIXNo statement of printing on © page.
1935APROPOS OF DOLORESLondon: Jonathan Cape, [1935]First Published, 1938 on © page.
1930THE AUTOCRACY OF MR. PARK AMLondon; William Heinemann Ltd, [1930]First published 1930 on © page.
1940BABES IN THE DARKLING WOODLondon: Seeker & Warburg, 1940First Published 1940 on © page.
1915BEALBY A HOLIDAYLondon; Methuen & Co. Ltd., [1915]Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Blue cloth; pages [337-40] comprise publisher's advertisements dated Spring, 1915 with an inserted 32-page catalogue dated 25/71H4 at rear;
  • (B) Violet cloth; four pages of advertisements dated Spring, 1915 and an inserted 32-page catalogue dated 8.5.15 at rear. First Published in 1915 on © page.
ALSO: London: Methuen & Co Ltd, [1955]. Boards. This abridged version first published 1958 on © page. Abridged text.
1966BEST SCIENCE FICTION STORIES OF H. G. WELLSNew York: Dover Publications, Inc., [1966]Wrappers. This Dover edition, first published in 1966 ... on © page. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1960BEST STORIES OF H. G. WELLSNew York: Ballantine Books, [1960]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Ballantine Books S414K (75c). All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1975BOON, THE MIND OF THE RACE, THE WILD ASSES OF THE DEVIL, AND THE LAST TRUMPLondon: T. Fisher Unwin, Ltd., [1975]First published in 1915 on © page. Reginald Bliss, pseudonym. Second edition issued in 1920 acknowledges Wells's authorship.
1938THE BROTHERSLondon: Chatto & Windus, 1938No statement of printing on © page.
1937BRYNHILDLondon: Methuen and Company Limited, 1937First published in 1937 on © page.
1932THE BULPINGTON OF BLUPLondon: Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers). Ltd. [1932]Two issues, probable priority as listed:
  • (A) Pictorial endpapers. Occurs with and without inserted publisher's catalogue: (1) No inserted publisher's catalogue. Copy thus in the British Library received 12 January 1933. (2) 40-page publisher's catalogue dated SPRING 19331.../Spring List No. I/(January) inserted at rear.
  • (B) Plain endpapers (not seen; reported by Eric Korn, London). No statement of printing on © page.
1937THE CAMFORD VISITATIONLondon: Methuen & Co. Ltd.. [1937]First Published in 1937 on © page.
1925CHRISTINA ALBERTA'S FATHERLondon: Jonathan Cape Ltd. [1925]First published in MCMXXV on © page.
1965THE CONE: ANOTHER COLLECTION OF HORROR STORIES[London]: Collins, [1965]Wrappers. This selection first issued in Fontana Books 1965 on © page. Fontana Books 1125 (3/6). All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1977THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND AND OTHER STORIESLondon, Edinburgh, Dublin, Leeds, and New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons, [1977]No statement of printing on © page. Five stories first collected in book form.
1915COUNTRY OF THE BLINDNew York: Privately Printed Christmas 1915Boards, paper label on front panel. No statement of printing on © page. First separate printing of this story. Collected earlier in THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND AND OTHER STORIES.
ALSO: THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND 1939. [London]: The Golden Cockerel Press, [1939], 280 copies printed. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) Full Orange Japan vellum. 30 copies numbered 1-30 signed by Wells and illustrator Clifford Webb. Signed issue.
  • (B) Cloth with Japan vellum shelf back. 250 copies numbered 31-280, unsigned. Colophon reads Printed and published... at the Golden Cockerel Press , finished on the sixth day of September, 1939 .... The edition is limited to 280 numbered copies. Numbers 1 -30 are signed by the Author & Artist [Clifford Webb]. Number [printed number inserted]. Includes new introduction by Wells, 1939 revised text, and original 1904 text.
N.D.THE COUNTRY OF THE BLINDGirard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Company, n.dWrappers. No statement of printing. Little Blue Book no. 161. Three stories reprinted from earlier books.
1947THE COUNTRY OF THE BLIND AND OTHER STORIESLondon * New York * Toronto: Longmans, Green & Co., [1947]Wrappers. First published 1947 on © page. All stories collected from earlier books.
1936THE CROQUET PLAYERLondon: Chatto & Windus, 1936No statement of printing on © page.
1999A CURE FOR LOVE. A STORY OF THE DAYS TO COME(ANNO DOMINI 2090.) [New York: Printed by the E. Scott Co., 1899]Wrappers. No statement of printing. Caption title. Note: Probably prepared to protect U.S. copyright. Text comprises the first of five parts of Wells's novella "A Story of the Days to Come, "collected later the same year in TALES OF SPACE AND TIME. Only recorded copy of this pamphlet is in the Library of Congress and was received by the library's Office of Register of Copyrights on 17 May 1899.
1957THE DESERTDAISY[Urbana, Illinois]: Published by Beta Phi Mu, 1957No statement of printing on © page. 4413 copies printed of which 1413 are numbered .
1911THE DOOR IN THE WALL AND OTHER STORIESNew York & Landon: Mitchell Kennerley, MCMXI600 copies printed. Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Imprint as above. Boards with cloth shelf back. No statement of printing on © page. 540 copies.
  • (B) Publisher's imprint on title page reads London: Grant Richards Ltd. Publishers. Boards. Publisher's statement in holograph on verso of first blank reads This edition is limited to sixty copies (for the United Kingdom. January 1915./No ... [signatures of Wells and photographer Alvin Langdon Coburn]. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1924THE DREAMLondon: Jonathan Cape, [1924]Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Leaf [A]1 is integral and verso carries advertisements for books by Wells with the statement at bottom, "All these are in print and on sale whatever a lazy bookseller may say to the contrary."
  • (B) Leaf [A]1 is a cancel and mounted on a stub. The "lazy bookseller" statement is removed. First published 1924 on © page.
Note: J. R. Hammond in Herbert George Wells: An Annotated Bibliography of His Works (New York & London: Garland Publishing, 1977), A18, notes proof copies with the "lazy bookseller" statement.
N.D.THE EMPIRE OF THE ANTS AND OTHER STORIESGirard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Company, n.dWrappers. No statement of printing. Little Blue Book no. 925. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1937THE FAMOUS SHORT STORIES OF H. G. WELLS Garden City: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1937Flexible cloth. No statement of printing on © page. First printing has Doubleday, Doran device on © page. Reissue of THE SHORT STORIES OF H. G. WELLS. An abridgment of this collection was issued as THE FAVORITE SHORT STORIES OF H. G. WELLS.
1937THE FAVORITE SHORT STORIES OF H. G. WELLSGarden City: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc., 1937No statement of printing on © page. Abridged reprint. Collects the first thirty-one of sixty-three stories printed in THE FAMOUS SHORT STORIES OF H. G. WELLS.
1946THE FINAL MENN.p., n.d. [Robert W. Lowndes, March [1946]Front wrapper only. No statement of printing. Mimeographed, stapled. Cover title.
Notes: (1) First separate printing of the episode from THE TIME MACHINE featuring the kangaroo rat men and the giant insects included in the serialization in the New Review, January-May 1895, but omitted from all book editions save the 1960 text printed in THREE PROPHETIC NOVELS OF H. G. WELLS. (2) Bob Pavlat and Bill Evans in Fanzine Index (1965) credit preparation of this booklet to Lowndes and assign an issue date of March 1940.
1901THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOONIndianapolis: The Bowen-Merrill Company, [1901]No statement of printing on © page. PRESS OF/BRAUNWORTH & CO./ BOOKBINDERS AND PRINTERS/BROOKLYN, N.Y. at base of © page. Title page printed in red and black.
Notes: (1) Bowen-Merrill edition published 5 October 1901 preceding Newnes edition published in November 1901. Omits three pages of text (pp. 75-78 of Newnes edition); other minor textual differences. (2) Sheets of the first printing have been observed in a later binding of blue-gray vertically ribbed cloth stamped in gold and blind with GROSSETT/AND/DUNLAP at base of spine.
ALSO: London: George Newnes, Limited, 1901. Four bindings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Dark blue cloth stamped in gold; black endpapers;
  • (B) Dark blue cloth stamped in gold; white endpapers;
  • (C) Light blue cloth stamped in dark blue; white endpapers;
  • (D) Blue-green cloth stamped in black; white endpapers. No statement of printing on © page. Textual differences.
ALSO: London * New York * Toronto: Longmans, Green and Co, [1954], Wrappers. First published 1954 on © page. Edited and abridged by Latif Doss.
1904THE FOOD OF THE GODSLondon: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1904Two bindings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Green cloth, spine stamped in gold, front cover in gold and blind; integral title page, verso blank. Two variants: (1) Top edge gilt; [L6]-page publisher's catalogue dated 20.7.04 inserted at rear; (2) Top edge plain; [16]-page publisher's catalogue dated 20.9.04 inserted at rear.
  • (B) Green cloth, spine stamped in gold, front cover in blind; top edge plain; title page a cancel mounted on a stub, verso bears statement COPYRIGHT: inserted 32-page publisher's catalogue dated 20.3.73 at rear. No statement of printing. Pages [319-20] comprise publisher's advertisements.
1975H. G. WELLS: EARLY WRITINGS IN SCIENCE AND SCIENCE FICTIONBerkley * Los Angeles * London: University of California Press[1975]No statement of printing on © page. Edited, with critical commentary and notes, by Robert M. Philmus and David Y. Hughes.
1945THE HAPPY TURNING: A DREAM OF LIFELondon * Toronto: William Heinemann Ltd. [1945]Boards with cloth shelf back. First Published 1945 on © page.
1910THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLYLondon, Edinburgh, Dublin. . and New York. Leipzig ... Paris Thomas Nelson and Sons, [1910]First Published 1910 on © page. Pages [375-84] comprise publisher's advertisements with page [375] headed "Notes on Nelson's New Novels.
1939THE HOLY TERRORLondon: Michael Joseph Ltd:., [1939]First published in 1939 on © page.
1964HOOPDRIVER'S HOLIDAYWest Lafayette, Indiana: Department of English Purdue University, 1964Wrappers. First edition so stated on title page. Offset from typewritten copy, stapled. 650 copies printed. Edited, with introduction and notes, by Michael Timko. Note: A dramatized version of THE WHEELS OF CHANCE written in 1904.
1906IN THE DAYS OF THE COMETLondon: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1906No statement of printing on © page. Three issues (printings?), priority as follows:
  • (A) Integral title leaf, printer's imprint on verso reads PRINTED BY/WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,/LONDON AND BECCLES.; Sheets collate [A]4, [B]-I, K-Q, [R]-U8, X2 + 4 leaves of ads,. Signature X is a gathering of two leaves (four pages) as follows: Page 305, text; [306], printer's imprint; [307], blank; [308], blank. Eight pages of publisher's advertisements dated C.5.5'06 inserted between pages [306] and [307];.
Note: Only located copy of this issue is the British Library copy deposited 8 July 1906, two months prior to publication. George Locke Science Fiction First Editions (London: Ferret, 1978), pp. 94-96 speculates that the BL copy is a proof.

  • (B) Sheets bulk 2.6 cm across top; Sheets collate [A]4, [B]-I, K-Q, [R]-U8, X4 + 4 leaves of ads. Signatured is a gathering of four leaves (eight pages) as follows.: Page 305, text; [306], printer's imprint; [307-12], publisher's ads. Eight-page publisher's catalogue dated 20.8.06 inserted at rear. Two variants: (II) Integral title leaf, Clowes imprint on verso.
Note: Publisher's presentation copy noted thus. (2) Title leaf is a cancel mounted on a stub, verso is blank.

  • (C) Sheets bulk 3 cm across top; Sheets collate as per issue (printing?) B, but printed on thicker, inferior-quality wove paper; Integral title leaf, Clowes imprint on verso. Eight-page publisher's catalogue dated 10.10.06 inserted at rear.
Note: Colonial issue has title page headed Macmillan's Colonial Library. It is bound in dark blue cloth with spine and front cover stamped in gold and blind. Eight-page publisher's catalogue dated 10.2.06 inserted at rear. Further details lacking. Although examined by the compiler, the colonial issue was recorded prior to the discovery of the bibliographical complexities of this book and no collation of sheets was made. It may represent the earliest issue (or printing) of the sheets. Present location of the examined copy is unknown.
1965THE INEXPERIENCED GHOST AND NINE OTHER STORIESNew York/Toronto/London: Bantam Pathfinder Editions, [1965]Wrappers. Published February 1965 on © page. A Bantam Pathfinder Edition FB81 (50c). All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1944THE INEXPERIENCED GHOST AND THE NEW ACCELERATORLondon: Vallancey Press Limited, [1944]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Both stories reprinted from earlier books.
1897THE INVISIBLE MANLondon: C. Arthur Pearson Limited, 1897No statement of printing on © page. Pages [247-48] comprise publisher's advertisements.
ALSO: New York London: Edward Arnold, 1897. No statement of printing on © page. Minor textual variations and first book appearance of The Epilogue.
ALSO: London: C. Arthur Pearson Limited, n.d. [ca. 1903-1904?]. Wrappers. Cheap edition. Not seen but Eric Korn, London, reports textual changes incorporating material from the 1897 Pearson and 1897 Arnold editions.
1896THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAULondon: William Heinemann, MDCCCXCVITwo bindings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Publisher's monogram stamped in blind on rear cover. Publisher's catalogue inserted at rear occurs in two forms, priority not established: (1)16 pages. Page 1 headed THE MANXMAN; page 16 headed THE NAULAHKA. Not seen. Recorded by Percy H. Muir, Poznrj1874-1930 (London: Constable, 1931), p. 160. (2) 32 pages. Page [1] headed THE MANXMAN-, page [32] headed OUT OF DUE SEASON.
  • (B) No monogram on rear cover. Page [1] of inserted catalogue headed THE NIGGER OF THE 'NARCISSUS.' Copies in this binding were not issued prior to 1898. No statement of printing on © page. Note: British and U.S. editions have minor textual variations.
ALSO: New York: Stone & Kimball, MDCCCXCVI. Three bindings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Black cloth stamped in gold; STONE &/KIMBALLINEW YORK at base of spine.
  • (B) Blue cloth stamped in yellow: STONE/CHICAGO at base of spine.
  • (C) Green cloth stamped in red and gold; Stone/Chicago at base of spine. PRINTED B Y JOHN WILSON AND SON AT/THE UNIVERSITY PRESS IN CAMBRIDGE/DURING MAY MDCCC XCVI. FOR/STONE AND KIMBALL/NEW YORK on page [251].
1918JOAN AND PETERLondon, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell and Company, Ltd, [1918]First Published 1918 on © page. Printer's code F. 150.818 on page 748.
1929THE KING WHO WAS A. KINGLondon: Ernest Benn Limited, [1929]Two bindings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Brown cloth, spine lettered in gold;
  • (B) Dark green cloth, spine lettered in light green.
First Published in 1929 on © page.
1905KIPPS A MONOGRAPHNew York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. J. F. TAPLEY CO. /BOOK MANUFACTURERS/NEW YORK at base of © page.
Note: Printed for copyright purposes only. Received by Library of Congress 17 March 1905.
ALSO: KIPPS THE STORY OF A SIMPLE SOUL. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1905. Published, 1905 on © page.
Note: First published edition. Received by Library of Congress 25 September 1905. The Scribner edition was published 7 October 1905 preceding the British edition by Macmillan between 21 and 28 October 1905. Macmillan edition received by British Library 7 November 1905.
1900LOVE AND MR. LEWISHAM: THE STORY OF A VERY YOUNG COUPLENew York: Frederick A. Stokes Company Publishers, [1900]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Title page printed in black.
Note: Printed for copyright purposes only. Received by Library of Congress 3 January 1900.
ALSO: New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company Publishers, [1900]. No statement of printing on © page. Title page printed in orange and black. First published U S. edition.
ALSO: London and New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1900. No statement of printing on © page. Pages [325-28] comprise publisher's advertisements. The Harper edition drops the subtitle from the title page.
Note: Secondary sources indicate British edition published in June 1900 preceding published U S. edition issued in October 1900. Both are preceded by the U. S. copyright printing.
1931THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLESGirard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Publications, [1931]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Little Blue Book no. 1661. Reprint.
1943THE MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLESLondon: Todd Publishing Company, [1943]Wrappers. August 1943 on page 16. Pollybooks (sixpence). All stories collected from earlier books.
1936MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES. A FILM BASED ON THE MATERIAL CONTAINED IN HIS SHORT STORYLondon: The Cresset Press, 1936No statement of printing on © page.
1912MARRIAGELondon: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1912No statement of printing on © page. Pages [553-60] comprise publisher's advertisements.
1927MEANWHILELondon: Ernest Benn Limited, 1927No statement of printing on © page.
1923MEN LIKE GODSLondon, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell and Company. Ltd, [1923]Two bindings, probable priority as listed:
  • (A) CASSELL at base of spine stamped in gold;
  • (B) CASSELL at base of spine stamped in blind. First published 1923 on © page. Printer's code F.200.123 on page 304.
1905A MODERN UTOPIALondon: Chapman & Hall, Ld., 1905No statement of printing on © page.
1928MR. BLETTSWORTHY ON RAMPOLE ISLANDLondon: Ernest Benn Limited, 1928No statement of printing on © page.
1916MR. BRITLING SEES IT THROUGHLondon, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell And Company, Ltd, [1916]First published 1916 on © page. Printer's code F .100,716 on page [434].
1910THE NEW MACHIAVELLINew York: Duffield & Company, 1910Two issues, probable priority as listed:
  • (A) No quotations by G. H. Lewes and William James on title page. Title leaf integral with [A7].
  • (B) Quotations by Lewes and James on title page. Cancel title leaf mounted on a stub. No statement of printing on © page. THE PREMIER PRESS/NEW YORK on © page.
N.D.THE OBLITERATED MAN AND OTHER STORIESGirard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Company, n.dWrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Little Blue Book no. 926. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1913THE PASSIONATE FRIENDSLondon: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1913No statement of printing on © page. 12 pages of publisher's advertisements inserted at rear. Ads are paged 1-4, 1-[8] with page 1 of the second set dated Autumn 1913.
1897THE PLATTNER STORY AND OTHERSLondon: Methuen & Co., 1897No statement of printing on © page. 40-page publisher's catalogue dated March 1897 inserted at rear.
1928A QUARTETTE OF COMEDIESLondon: Ernest Benn Limited, M.CM.XXVIIIFirst published 1928 on © page. Reprint. Collects KIPPS, THE HISTORY OF MR. POLLY, LOVE AND MR. LEWISHAM, and BEALBY.
1986THE RED ROOMChicago: Stone & Kimball, MDCCCXCVISelf wrappers, sewn. No statement of printing on © page. Cover title.
Notes: (1) 12 copies printed to establish U.S. copyright from type set for publication of the story in The Chapbook, February 15, 1896. None were for sale. (2) Misdated on cover MDCCCVCVI.
1915THE RESEARCH MAGNIFICENTLondon: Macmillan And Co., Limited, 1915No statement of printing on © page. Two numbered pages of advertisements for other books by Wells at rear, followed by inserted eight-page publisher's catalogue New & Recent/Works Of Fiction dated C.15.8.15.
1933THE SCIENTIFIC ROMANCES OF H. G. WELLSLondon: Victor Gollancz Ltd, 1933No statement of printing on © page. Reprint, save for new preface. Collects THE TIME MACHINE, THE ISLAND OF DR. MOREAU, THE INVISIBLE MAN, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE FIRST MEN IN THE MOON, THE FOOD OF THE GODS, IN THE DAYS OF THE COMET, and MEN LIKE GODS. Issued later in the U.S. as SEVEN FAMOUS NOVELS BY H. G. WELLS with MEN LIKE GODS deleted.
1902THE SEA LADYLondon: Methuen & Co., 1902Two (three?) bindings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Red cloth stamped in gold. Occurs with 40-page publisher's catalogue inserted at rear in three states: (1) dated JULY 1902. (2) dated AUGUST 1902. (3) dated MARCH 1907 (not seen).
  • (B) Green cloth, front and rear cover stamped in blind, spine stamped in gold. Note: 400 copies so bound issued in May 1907?
  • (C) Binding not determined, inserted publisher's catalogue dated February 1910. Not seen. Recorded by Hammond in Herbert George Wells: An Annotated Bibliography of His Works, B8. No statement of printing on © page.
1922THE SECRET PLACES OF THE HEARTLondon, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell and Company, Ltd, [1922]Three issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Dark green cloth, front cover lettered in blind The Secret Places/Of The Heart/H. G. Wells; Cassell on spine measures 3.3 cm across; integral title page; First published 1922 on © page.
  • (B) Dark green cloth; front cover lettered in blind The/Secret/Places/of/the Heart/H. G. Wells; Cassell on spine measures 2.5 cm across; integral title page: First published 1922 on © page. Remainder issue.
  • (C) Pale green cloth; front cover unlettered; title page is a cancel pasted to contents page; First Published May 1922/Printed in Great Britain on © page. Remainder issue.
1895SELECT CONVERSATIONS WITH AN UNCLELondon: John Lane-New York-The Merriam Company, 1895No statement of printing on © page. 16 pages of publisher's advertisements dated 1895 inserted at rear. Note: Contains twelve conversations and two short stories.
195SSELECTED SHORT STORIES[Harmondsworth, Middlesex]: Penguin Books, [195S]Wrappers. Published in Penguin Books 1958 on © page. Penguin Books 1310 (3/6). Twenty-one stories reprinted from THE SHORT STORIES OF H. G. WELLS published by Ernest Benn in 1927.
1931SELECTIONS FROM THE EARLY PROSE WORKS London: University of London Press. Ltd., 1931No statement of printing on © page. Short stories and extracts from novels reprinted from earlier books.
1934SEVEN FAMOUS NOVELS BY H. G. WELLSNew York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1934First Printing June 1, 1934 on © page. Basically a reprint of THE SCIENTIFIC ROMANCES OF H. G. WELLS with some changes in preface and MEN LIKE GODS deleted.
Note: 1950 Dover edition drops preface.
1933THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME(London; Hutchinson & Co). (Publishers), Ltd., MCMXXXIIINo statement of printing on © page.
1940SHORT STORIES ... FIRST SERIESLondon Edinburgh and New York: Thomas Nelson and Sons Ltd., [1940]First published, September 1940 on © page. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1927THE SHORT STORIES OF H. G. WELLSLondon: Ernest Benn Limited, MCMXXVIINo statement of printing on © page. Includes several short stories not previously collected in book form. Issued in the U.S. under this title in 1929 and later as THE FAMOUS SHORT STORIES OF Hl Gi. WELLS). ALSO: London: Odhams Press, n.d. Abridged collection.
1910THE SLEEPER AWAKES[London]: Thomas Nelson and Sons, [1910]No statement of printing on © page. Revised text (comprising mostly deletion of about 6000 words) and new introduction. Issued earlier as WHEN THE SLEEPER WAKES.
1917THE SOUL OF A BISHOPLondon, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell and Company , Ltd, [1917]First Impression September 1917 on © page. Printer's code FJOO. 717 on page 320.
1937STAR BEGOTTENLondon Chatto & Windus, 1937No statement of printing on © page.
1895THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER INCIDENTSLondon: Methuen & Co., 1895No statement of printing on © page. 32-page publisher's catalogue dated SEPTEMBER 1895 inserted at rear.
N.D.THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER STORIESGirard, Kansas: Haldeman-Julius Company, n.dWrappers. No Statement of printing on © page. Little Blue Book no. 927. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1931THE STOLEN BODY AND OTHER TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED[London]: Published for Wm. Collins Sons & Co., Ltd., by the London Book Co., Ltd., [1931]Boards. No statement of printing on © page. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1935STORIES OF MEN AND WOMEN IN LOVELondon: Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers), Ltd., [1935]No statement of printing on © page. Reprint, save for new preface. Collects LOVE AND MR. LEWISHAM, THE PASSIONATE FRIENDS, THE WIFE OF SIR ISAAC HARMAN, and THE SECRET PLACES OF THE HEART.
1976A STORY OF THE DAYS TO COME[London]; Corgi Books, [1976]Wrappers. Corgi edition published 1976 on © page. Corgi Science Fiction 552 10185 0 (45p). Reprint. Collected earlier in TALES OF SPACE AND TIME.
1923?TALES OF LIFE AND ADVENTURELondon: W. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., n.d. [ca. 1923?]Boards. No statement of printing on © page. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1899TALES OF SPACE AND TIMELondon and New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1900 [i.e., 1899]No statement of printing on © page. Note: British Library copy received 21 November 1899.
1924TALES OF THE UNEXPECTEDLondon: W. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., [1924]Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Publisher's advertisements on page 1 dated SPRING, 1924. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1923?TALES OF WONDERLondon: W. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., n.d. [ca. 1923?]Boards. No statement of printing on © page. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1935THINGS TO COME... A FILM STORY..London: The Cresset Press, 1935No statement of printing on © page.
1897THIRTY STRANGE STORIESNew York: Edward Arnold, 1897No statement of printing on © page. Three stories appear for the first time in book form.
1963THREE NOVELSLondon Melbourne Toronto: Heinemann, [1963]Boards. Re-issued in this Edition 1963 on © page. Reprint. Collects THE TIME MACHINE, THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, and THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU.
1960THREE PROPHETIC NOVELS OF H. G. WELLSNew York: Dover Publications, Inc., [1960]Wrappers. This new Dover edition, first published in 1960 on © page. Reprint. Collects WHEN THE SLEEPER WAKES, “A Story of the Days to Come, "and THE TIME MACHINE. Note: This edition of THE TIME MACHINE contains the episode featuring the kangaroo-rat men and the giant insects included in the serialization in New Review, January-May 1895 but omitted from all earlier book editions.
1995THE TIME MACHINENew York: Henry Holt and Company, 1895No statement of printing on © page. Two printings, priority as listed:
  • (A) Tan buckram stamped in purple; Author's name misprinted H. S. WELLS on title page; six pages of publisher's advertisements inserted at rear.
  • (B) Vertically ribbed red cloth, front cover and spine stamped in gold; H. G. WELLS on title page; no advertisements at rear.
Note: Holt edition published prior to Heinemann edition. A deposit copy was received by the Library of Congress on 7 May 1895 and the book was announced in Publishers Weekly 18 May 1895. Text of the Holt edition differs significantly from the Heinemann edition and from the New Review serial. See Bernard Bergonzi, "The Publication of The Time Machine, 1894-1895" in SF: The Other Side of Realism, Thomas D. Clareson, ed. (Bowling Green, Ohio: Bowling Green University Popular Press, 1971), pp. 204-15.
ALSO: London: William Heinemann, MDCCCXCV. No statement of printing on © page. 10,000 copies printed. Published simultaneously in cloth and wrappers. In May 1895, 5000 copies were bound in wrappers and 1000 in cloth; In August 1895, 1000 copies were bound in wrappers and 500 in cloth. The remainder were bound as required, with many of the copies bound earlier in wrappers stripped and rebound in cloth. Rebound copies have all edges trimmed.
The following bindings have been noted. Bindings A and B1 probably represent the earliest forms for wrappers and cloth copies, but the order as here presented for the remainder is all but arbitrary:
  • (A) Light blue-gray wrappers printed in dark blue; inner front wrapper, inner back wrapper, and outer back wrapper imprinted with publisher's advertisements; all edges trimmed; no inserted publisher's catalogue. A copy thus received by the British Library 29 May 1895.
  • (B) Gray cloth stamped in purple; binding measures 18.2 cm vertically; HEINEMANN at base of spine set in 12-point type; top edge untrimmed, bottom edge rough cut, fore edge untrimmed or rough cut; inserted publisher's catalogue at rear observed in three forms, priority as listed: (1)16 pages. Page [1] headed: THE MANXMAN. (2) 32 pages. Includes reviews of THE WAR OF THE WORLDS. (3) 32 pages. Page [1] headed: VOICES IN THE NIGHT. This catalogue prepared circa 1900, as Stephen Crane's BOWERY TALES published in May or June 1900 is listed.
  • (C) Gray cloth, front and rear cover stamped in dark gray, spine in blue; binding measures 18.2 cm vertically; HEINEMANN at base of spine set in 12-point type; top edge uncut, fore and bottom edges rough cut; 32-page publisher's catalogue inserted at rear with page [1] headed THE OPEN QUESTION. Not issued prior to 1899.
  • (D) Brown wrappers printed in black on outer front wrapper and spine panel. The Time Machine An Invention H. G. Wells is printed on outer front wrapper enclosed by a heavy ornate box. Inner front wrapper, inner back wrapper, and outer back wrapper are blank.
  • (E) Gray cloth stamped in purple; binding measures 17.2 cm vertically; HEINEMANN at base of spine set in 14-point type; all edges trimmed; no inserted publisher's catalogue.
  • (F) Gray cloth stamped in brown; no inserted publisher's catalogue. Three variants: (1) All edges trimmed. (2) Top and fore edges untrimmed, bottom edge rough cut. (3) Top and fore edges untrimmed, bottom edge trimmed. Note: Text differs from Holt edition above. Collected later with the kangaroo-rat men episode in THREE PROPHETIC NOVELS OF H. G. WELLS.
ALSO: New York: Random House, 1931. Boards with cloth shelf back. 1200 numbered copies. Adds new "Preface." Notes: (1) Issued in unprinted tissue paper dust jacket and paper slipcase. (2) Copies have been observed without the limitation statement on page [88].
1946THE TIME MACHINE: AN INVENTION AND OTHER STORIESHarmondsworth, Middlesex: Penguin Books, [1946]Wrappers. No statement of printing on © page. Penguin Books 533 (one shilling). All material reprinted from earlier books.
1963THE TIME MACHINE AND OTHER STORIESNew York: Scholastic Bookservices, [1963]Wrappers. 1st printing ... September 1963 on © page. Scholastic Library Edition T530 (45c). All material reprinted from earlier books.
1909TONO-BUNGAYLondon: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1909No statement of printing on © page. Two states of publisher's advertisements inserted at rear, priority as listed:
  • (A) Dated 1.09;
  • (B) Dated 2.09.
Note: Publisher's imprint on title page of U.S. edition reads New York: Duffield and Company, 1908. May precede Macmillan edition published in January 1909. Publication date of Duffield not verified, but listed Weekly Record 23 January 1909.
1936THE TREASURE IN THE FOREST[New York: The Press of the Woolly Whale, June 1936]Boards. The Treasure in the Forest by H. G. Wells,/here reprinted in an edition of 130 copies by the Press of the Woolly Whale, New York, /finished in June, 1936 ... on page [33]. Reprint. Collected earlier in THE STOLEN BACILLUS AND OTHER INCIDENTS.
1943THE TRUTH ABOUT PYECRAFT AND OTHER SHORT STORIESLondon: Todd Publishing Company, [1943]Wrappers. March 1943 on © page. Pollybooks (price sixpence). All stories re-printed from earlier books.
1903TWELVE STORIES AND A DREAMLondon: Macmillan and Co., Limited New York: The Macmillan Company, 1903No statement of printing on © page. Pages [379-84] comprise publisher's advertisements. 16-page publisher's catalogue dated 20.9.O3 inserted at rear.
195228 SCIENCE FICTION STORIES OF H. G. WELLS[New York]: Dover Publications, Inc., [1952]No statement of printing on © page. All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1940TWO FILM STORIES THINGS TO COME MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLESLondon: The Cresset Press, 1940No statement of printing on © page. Reprint. Collects THINGS TO COME and MAN WHO COULD WORK MIRACLES.
1919THE UNDYING FIRELondon, New York, Toronto and Melbourne: Cassell and Company, Ltd, [1919]No statement of printing on © page. Printer's code F.200419 on page [254].
1899THE VACANT COUNTRY[New York: A. E. Kent], n.d. [but 1899]Page proofs, printed on rectos only and mounted on 18 leaves, plus title leaf not mounted. Probably prepared for U.S. copyright. Pulled from standing type prepared for U.S. magazine appearance? No copy located.
Description from microfilm of the deposit copy discarded by the Library of Congress after filming. This copy was marked "second copy, 1899" and was received by the library's Office of Register of Copyrights on 10 June 1899. Text comprises the second of five parts of Wells's novella "A Story of the Days to Come,” collected later the same year in TALES OF SPACE AND TIME.
1964THE VALLEY OF SPIDERS: A NEW COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES[London]: Fontana Books, [1964]Wrappers. This selection first issued in Fontana Books 1964 on © page. An Original Fontana 1035 (3'6). All stories reprinted from earlier books.
1908THE WAR IN THE AIRLondon: George Bell and Sons, 1908No statement of printing on © page. Five bindings, first and last as listed, sequence of others not established:
  • (A) Blue cloth; all lettering and decoration on front cover and spine in gold; GEORGE BELL & SONS at base of spine.
  • (B) Blue cloth; decorative title on front cover stamped in blind, otherwise as binding A.
  • (C) Blue cloth; publisher's device and imprint G. BELL & SONS on spine stamped in blind; color reproduction of frontispiece mounted on front cover within a single rule box, otherwise as binding A.
  • (D) Blue or red cloth; all spine stamping in gold; decorative title on front cover in black; color reproduction of frontispiece mounted on front cover within a single rule box; G. BELL & SONS at base of spine in a sans serif typeface.
  • (E) Blue cloth; color reproduction of frontispiece mounted on front cover within a single rule box, otherwise as binding A. Cancel title page dated 1911. Cheap reissue 1911 on verso.
1898THE WAR OF THE WORLDSLondon: William Heinemann, 1898No statement of printing on © page. Occurs with and without an inserted publisher's catalogue. Two states of inserted publisher's catalogue at rear, priority as listed:
  • (A) 16 pages; dated Autumn mdcccxcvii.
  • (B) 32 pages; page [1] headed ILLUMINATION.
ALSO: New York and London: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1898. No statement of printing on © page. Omits "The Epilogue; "other minor textual differences.
ALSO: London:: Toronto: William Heinemann Ltd, [1951], Boards. Revised Edition 1951 on © page. Note: Bowdlerized rather than revised text. See David Y. Hughes, "McConnell's Critical Edition of TM and WW, " Science-Fiction Studies 4, no. 2 (July 1977), pp. 196-97.
1956THE WAR OF THE WORLDS AND THE TIME MACHINENew York: Globe Book Company, [1956]No statement of printing on © page. Reprint. Collects THE WAR OF THE WORLDS and THE TIME MACHINE. Text adapted and edited by Lou P. Bunce.
1963THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE TIME MACHINE, AND SELECTED SHORT STORIESNew York: Platt & Munk, Publishers, [1963]Boards. No statement of printing on © page. Reprint. Collects THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE TIME MACHINE, and seven short stories from earlier collections.
1969THE WEALTH OF MR. WADDYCarbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois Univ. Press. London and Amsterdam: Feffer & Simons, Inc., [1969]Crosscurrents/Modern Fiction edition, November, 1969 on © page. Note: Earliest surviving draft of KIPPS.
1896THE WHEELS OF CHANCELondon: J. M. Dent and Co. New York: The Macmillan Co., 1896Two issues, priority as listed:
  • (A) Printer's imprint on page [314]; 10-page publisher's catalogue inserted at rear dated October 1896.
  • (B) Page [314] is blank; no inserted advertisements. No statement of printing on © page.
1899WHEN THE SLEEPER WAKESLondon and New York: Harper & Brothers Publishers, 1899No statement of printing on © page. Later abridged as THE SLEEPER AWAKES. ALSO: London: W. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd., [1921], Boards. No statement of printing on © page. New preface.
1914THE WIFE OF SIR ISAAC HARMANLondon: Macmillan and Co., Limited, 1914No statement of printing on © page. Code 2 H at base of page 465. 10 integral numbered pages of publisher's advertisements at rear.
1895THE WONDERFUL VISITLondon: J. M. Dent &Co., New York: Macmillan & Co., 1895Two bindings, probable priority as listed:
  • (A) Red cloth, front cover blank. A copy so bound received by the British Library 26 September 1895.
  • (B) Red cloth, title and figure of an angel stamped in gold on front cover. No statement of printing on © page.
1926THE WORLD OF WILLIAM CLISSOLDLondon: Ernest Benn Ltd., 1926Three volumes. Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) 218 sets signed by the author of which 198 were for sale and 20 for presentation;
  • (B) Trade issue. No statement of printing on © pages.
1914THE WORLD SET FREELondon: Macmillan And Co., Limited, 1914No statement of printing on © page. 10 pages of publisher's advertisements at rear of which eight comprise an inserted catalogue with page 1 headed Macmillan's/New Fiction.
ALSO: London: W. Collins Sons & Co. Ltd.,[1921]. Boards. No statement of printing on © page. New preface.
1941YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFULLondon: Seeker & Warburg, 1941First Published... November 1941 on © page.

H. G. Wells – First Printing Dust Jacket Identification Points

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition and does not include later printings.

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • L. W. Currey, Science Fiction and Fantasy Authors: A Bibliography of First Printings of Their Fiction and Selected Nonfiction.

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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