Book Collecting

T. S. Eliot – First Edition Books Identification Guide

T. S. Eliot
T. S. Eliot

Thomas Stearns Eliot OM (1888–1965) was a poet, essayist, publisher, playwright, literary critic and editor. Considered one of the 20th century’s major poets, he is a central figure in English-language Modernist poetry.

Born in St. Louis, Missouri, to a prominent Boston Brahmin family, he moved to England in 1914 at the age of 25 and went on to settle, work, and marry there. He became a British citizen in 1927 at the age of 39, subsequently renouncing his American citizenship.

Eliot first attracted widespread attention for his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” in 1915, which, at the time of its publication, was considered outlandish. It was followed by “The Waste Land” (1922), “The Hollow Men” (1925), “Ash Wednesday” (1930), and Four Quartets (1943). He was also known for seven plays, particularly Murder in the Cathedral (1935) and The Cocktail Party (1949). He was awarded the 1948 Nobel Prize in Literature, “for his outstanding, pioneer contribution to present-day poetry”.

For a poet of his stature, Eliot produced a relatively small number of poems. He was aware of this even early in his career. He wrote to J.H. Woods, one of his former Harvard professors, “My reputation in London is built upon one small volume of verse, and is kept up by printing two or three more poems in a year. The only thing that matters is that these should be perfect in their kind, so that each should be an event.”

Typically, Eliot first published his poems individually in periodicals or in small books or pamphlets and then collected them in books. His first collection was Prufrock and Other Observations (1917). In 1920, he published more poems in Ara Vos Prec (London) and Poems: 1920 (New York). These had the same poems (in a different order) except that “Ode” in the British edition was replaced with “Hysteria” in the American edition. In 1925, he collected The Waste Land and the poems in Prufrock and Poems into one volume and added The Hollow Men to form Poems: 1909–1925. From then on, he updated this work as Collected Poems. Exceptions are Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (1939), a collection of light verse; Poems Written in Early Youth, posthumously published in 1967 and consisting mainly of poems published between 1907 and 1910 in The Harvard Advocate, and Inventions of the March Hare: Poems 1909–1917, material Eliot never intended to have published, which appeared posthumously in 1997.

In October 1922, Eliot published “The Waste Land” in The Criterion. Eliot’s dedication to il miglior fabbro (‘the better craftsman’) refers to Ezra Pound’s significant hand in editing and reshaping the poem from a longer Eliot manuscript, to the shortened version that appears in publication.

The poem is known for its obscure nature—its slippage between satire and prophecy; its abrupt changes of speaker, location, and time. This structural complexity is one of the reasons why the poem has become a touchstone of modern literature, a poetic counterpart to a novel published in the same year, James Joyce‘s Ulysses.

Among its best-known phrases are “April is the cruellest month”, “I will show you fear in a handful of dust” and “Shantih shantih shantih”—the Sanskrit mantra which ends the poem.

T. S. Eliot influenced many poets, novelists, and songwriters, including Seán Ó Ríordáin, Máirtín Ó Díreáin, Virginia Woolf, Ezra Pound, Bob Dylan, Hart Crane, William Gaddis, Allen Tate, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Trevor Nunn, Ted Hughes, Geoffrey Hill, Seamus Heaney, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Russell Kirk,George Seferis (who in 1936 published a modern Greek translation of The Waste Land) and James Joyce. T. S. Eliot was a strong influence on 20th-century Caribbean poetry written in English, including the epicOmeros (1990) by Nobel laureate Derek Walcott, and Islands (1969) by Barbadian Kamau Brathwaite.

T. S. Eliot died of emphysema at his home in Kensington in London, on 4 January 1965, and was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. In accordance with his wishes, his ashes were taken to St Michael and All Angels’ Church, East Coker, the village in Somerset from which his Eliot ancestors had emigrated to America. A wall plaque in the church commemorates him with a quotation from his poem East Coker: “In my beginning is my end. In my end is my beginning.”

T. S. Eliot – First Editions Identification Guide

T.S. Eliot - First Edition Books Identification Guide
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/printing identification points
1917Prufrock and Other ObservationsLondon: Egoist Ltd., 1917First edition. Gray wrappers, black lettering. Price: 1s. 500 copies printed.
1917Ezra Poound His Metric and PoetryNY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1917First edition. Rose paper boards, gilt lettering. Plain gray dust jacket. 1000 copies printed. Published January 1918.
1919PoemsRichmond: L. & V. Woolf at The Hogarth PressFirst edition. Wrappers (varying texture and design), white paste-on label. Two states, priority as listed: A) Red printed label. Misprints on p. 13, line 6 , "aestival" for "estivale" and line 12 "capitaux" for "chapitaux". B) The two misprints were corrected. Bound in marbled wrappers with inside plain or wall-paper design. The majority with black-printed label.Price: 2s6d. Fewer than 250 copies printed.
1920Ara Vos PrecLondon: Ovid Press, [1920]First edition. Black wrappers or (later) black boards. White pate-on label on the spine, black lettering. Four issues, no priority: A) 10 copies unnumbered are for review. B) 4 copies on Japan Vellum numbered 1-4 & not for sale. C) 30 signed copies numbered 5-34 D) 220 copies numbered 35-255. NOTE: Misprint "Vus" for "Vos" in the title page was discovered after all the sheets had been printed and was corrected only on the label. ALSO: NY: Alfred A. Knopf, [1920]. First American edition. Published as "Poems by T. S. Eliot". Tan paper boards, brown lettering. Yellow dust jacket, green or brown lettering. No date.
1920The Sacred WoodLondon: Methuen & Co., [1920]First edition. "First published in 1920" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Three states, priority as listed: A) "METHUEN" imprint at the foot of spine measures 3mm. Salmon dust jacket, black lettering, no subtitle "Essays .. criticism" on front panel. No ads on rear of book. B) "METHUEN" imprint at the foot of spine measures 3.5mm. Salmon dust jacket reset with " Essays .. criticism" on front panel, and ads for "Books by A. Clutton-Brock" on rear panel. C) Same as (B) with 8pp. of ads inserted after p. [156]. ALSO: NY: Alfred A. Knopf, 1921. First American edition. Date 1921 on title page, verso blank. Blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1922The Waste LandNY: Boni & LiverightFirst edition. Flexible or (later) stiff black/brown cloth boards, gilt lettering. Limited edition of 1000 numbered copies. Salmon dust jacket, black lettering. Price $1.50. Two issues, priority as listed:
A) Flexible binding. The stamped limitation number is 5mm high. Around 500 copies bound.
B) Stiff cloth. The limitation number is 2mm high.
NOTE: Although Gallup remarks that "the first copies printed have the word 'mountain' correctly spelled in line 339 (page 41); in later copies the 'a' has dropped out," that point is not the true indication of the issue, but only of the place in the press run of the sheet on which that page was printed. During the printing of the sheet containing that page, the letter "a" worked loose, so that the copies were printed with the "a" correctly placed, out-of-alignment, or missing altogether. Since the sheets were selected for binding at random, the presence of the "a" is indicative only of the printing of that particular sheet, not of the book as a whole.
ALSO: NY: Boni and Liveright, [1923]. Second impression. Limited edition of 1000 copies. "Second edition" stated on the © page. Content as in the first edition, this is actually a second impression.
ALSO: Richmond Surrey: Leonard & Virginia Woolf, Hogarth Press, [1923]. First English edition. Blue marbled boards, white paste-on label, black lettering. Three states, no priority:
A) Label measuring 3.8 x 6.5cm, with a border of asterisks
B) label measuring 6.5 x 9.6cm, with heavy single-line rule above and bellow the title
C) label measuring 6.7 x 10 cm, without rules.
1924Home to John DrydfenLondon: Leonard & Virginia Woolf, Hoharth Press, 1924First edition. Off-white wrappers, black lettering. Price 3s6d. 2000 copies printed.
1925Poems 1909-1925London: Faber & Gwyer, MCMXXVFirst edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 85 numbered and signed copies. White linen boards, gilt lettering. Glassine dust jacket.
B) Blue cloth, white paste-on label on spine. Cream dust jacket, blue lettering. 1460 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1932]. First American edition. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Printed on laid paper watermarked with a crown and the words "ANTIQUE DE LUXE | BCM | SH" Cream dust wrapper, blue lettering. The ads in the back flap for "Selected Essays 1917-1932" does not include price. 4080 copies printed.
NOTE: A second printing was printed on wove paper, unwatermarked. Lavender dust jacket, with price at the bottom of the back flap.
1927Journey of the MagiLondon: Faber & Gwyer, [1927]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 350 numbered copies. Yellow boards, black lettering.
B) Yellow wrappers, black lettering, sewn. 5000 copies printed. (Unsold copies were reissued in February 1938, in mauve paper envelopes, on front … "The original first printing of the poem, decorated with drawings by E. McKnight Kauffer...".
ALSO: NY: William Edwin Rudge, 1927. First American edition. Grey wrappers, black lettering. 27 copies printed.
1927Shakespeare and the Stoicism of SenecaHumphrey Milford, Oxford University Press, 1927First edition. Grey wrappers, black lettering.
1928A Song for SimeonLondon: Faber & Gwyer, [1928]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 500 numbered and signed copies. Off-white boards, gilt lettering.
B) Blue wrappers, black lettering. 3500 copies printed. (Unsold copies were reissued in February 1938, in grey paper envelopes, red lettering with, on front … "The original first printing of the poem, decorated with a drawing by E. McKnight Kauffer ..."
1928For Lancelot AndewesLondon: Faber & Gwyer, [1928]First edition. "First published in MCMXXVIII" stated on © page. Blue cloth, tan paste-on label on the spine, black and blue lettering. Tan dust jacket, printed in black and blue.
ALSO: NY: Doubleday, Doran & Co., 1929. First American edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Purple-brown cloth, silver lettering. Grey dust jacket, red and blue lettering. 2000 copies printed.
1929DanteLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1929]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 125 numbered and signed copies. Blue-green boards, gilt lettering. Glassine dust jacket.
B) "First published in MCMXXIX" stated on © page. Grey boards, black lettering. Grey dust jacket, printed in blue & black. No excerpts from reviews of the book on front/back flap. 2000 copies printed.
1929AnimulaLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1929]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 400 numbered and signed copies. Yellow boards, brown lettering.
B) Yellow wrappers, black lettering. 3000. (Unsold copies were reissued in February 1938, in green paper envelopes, on front …"The original first printing of the poem, decorated with wood-engravings by Gertrude Hermes..."
1930Ash-WednesdayLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., 1930First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 600 numbered and signed copies. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Cellophane dust jacket with white paper flaps. Issued in plain brown slipcase.
B) "First published in MCMXXX" stated on © page. Brown cloth., gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in green, black and red.
ALSO: NY: G.P. Putname's Sons, 1930. First American edition. "First American Trade Edition" stated on © page. Black cloth, yellow lettering. Glassine dust jacket. 2000 copies printed.
1930Anabasis A Poem by St. -J PerseLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd. , 1930First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 350 numbered and signed copies. Green cloth, gilt lettering. Cellophane dust jacket. Issued in plain green slipcase.
B) Blue-green cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in green, black and red. 1650 sheets printed (of which 1101 were reissued in 1937). ALSO: Second issue. Green boards, gilt lettering. Green dust jacket, purple lettering. 1101 copies printed from first edition sheets, cut down, bound, and reissued.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1938. First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. Grey dust jacket, red lettering. 1000 copies printed.
1930MarinaLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1931]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 400 numbered and signed copies. Blue boards, black lettering. Glassine dust jacket.
B) Blue wrappers, sewn, black lettering. 2000 copies printed.
1931Thought After LambethLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1931]First edition. "First published February MCMXXXI" stated on © page. Two issues, no priority:
A) Brown wrappers, swen, blue lettering. 3000 copies printed.
B) Grey board, gilt lettering. Glassine dust jacket. 300 copies printed.
NOTE: A few advance proof copies were issued for review purposes in the brown wrappers described but marked on page [i] in blue crayon “Proof copy only." These copies differ slightly from the regularly issued copies, publisher's name on tittle page is given as "Faber & Faber" instead of "Faber & Faber Limited".
1931Triumphal MarchLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1931]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 300 numbered and signed copies. Grey boards, gilt lettering.
B) Grey wrapper, black lettering.
1931Charles Whibley A MemoirLondon: Oxford University Press, 1931First edition. Grey wrappers, black lettering. 4000 copies printed.
1923Selected EssaysLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1932]First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) 115 numbered and signed copies. Blue vellum boards, gilt lettering. Cellophane dust jacket.
B) "First published MCMXXXII" stated on © page. Brown cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in green & black. 3000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1932]. "First edition" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Tan dust jacket, purple lettering.
1932John Dryden the Poet ,the Dramatist, the CriticNY: Terence & Else Holliday, 1932First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) Limited edition of 110 numbered and signed copies. Marbled boards, gilt lettering. Cellophane dust jacket.
B) Mulberry boards, black & gilt lettering. White dust jacket, brown lettering. 1000 copies printed.
1932Sweeney AgonistesLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1932]First edition. "First published December MCMXXXII" stated on © page. Two issues, priority as listed:
A) Blue boards, red lettering.
B) Blue-green boards, red lettering. Yellow dust jacket, printed in blue.
1933The Use of Poetry and the Use of CriticismLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1933]First edition. "First published November MCMXXXIII" stated on © page. Red cloth, gilt lettering. Blue dust jacket, printed in black & red. 2500 copies printed.
ALSO: Harvard University Press, 1933. First American edition. Red cloth, gilt lettering. Cream dust jacket, printed in black and green. 1500 copies printed.
1934After Strange GodsLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1934]First edition. "First published in February MCMXXXIV" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. Red dust jacket, printed in  black and blue. 3000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1934]. First American edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Red cloth, gilt lettering. Tan dust jacket, printed in black and red. 1500 copies printed.
1934The RockLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1934]First edition. "First published in May MCMXXXOV" stated on © page. Grey wrappers, black lettering. 2000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1934]. First American edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Tan cloth, red paste-on label on spine, black lettering. White dust jacket, printed in grey and red.
1934Elizabethan EssaysLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1934]First edition. "First published October MCMXXXIV" stated on © page. Green cloth, gilt lettering. Blue dust jacket, printed in red & black.
1934Words for MusicBryn Mawr, PA: Privately printedFirst edition. Twenty copies of Words for Music were printed for the author:
  • six on Oxhead, numbered 1-6 [and bound in marbled paper wrappers with white paper label];
  • six on Leipzig, numbered I-VI [and bound in decorated paper wrappers with silver paper label];
  • six on Rives, numbered a-f [and bound in gold paper wrappers with white paper label]
  • two on Imperial vellum, numbered A and B [and bound in red and gold paper wrappers with gold paper label and cellophane dust-jacket with white paper label]
1935Murder in the CathedralH. J. Goulden, Ltd. 1935. First edition. Two issues, no priority:
A) First acting edition. Grey wrappers, blue lettering. 750 copies printed. (A few copies issued in plain white wrappers issued to the cast before the printed wrappers were ready).
B) Faber & Faber Ltd., [1935]. First complete edition. "First published June MCMXXXV" stated on © page. Purple cloth, gilt lettering. Blue dust jacket, printed in red & black. 3000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1935]. First American edition. "First published" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. Off-white dust jacket, printed in plum & black. 1500 copies printed.
1935Two PoemsCambridge University Press, 1935First edition. Privately printed for Frederic Prokosch. Twenty-two copies of these poems were printed for the author:
  • five on Arches, numbered 1—5 [and bound in decorated paper wrappers, with grey paper label];
  • five on Normandie numbered I-V [and bound in yellow heavy paper wrappers, with silver label];
  • five on Bremen, numbered a-e [and bound in green paper wrappers, with buff paper label]; five on Brussels parchment, numbered A-E [and bound in marbled paper wrappers, with white paper label]; and
  • two on red Florentine, numbered X and XX [and bound in silver paper wrappers, with red paper label].
1936Essays Ancient and ModernLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1936]First edition. "First published in March Mcmxxxvi" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Green dust jacket, printed in black & blue. 2500 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1936]. First American edition. Blue (or, later, dark blue) cloth, gilt lettering. "First American edition" stated on © page. Grey dust jacket, red lettering. 2500 copies printed.
1936Collected Poems 1909-1935London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1939]First edition. "First published in April Mcmxxxvi" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Red dust jacket, printed in blue & black. 6000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1936]. First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Grey (or, later, brown) dust jacket, red lettering. 4700 copies printed.
1939Family ReunionLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1936]First edition. "First published in March MCMXXXIX" stated on © page. Grey cloth, red lettering. Cream dust jacket; printed in red, green & black. (or, later, mauve dust jacket, black lettering). 6375 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1039]. First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. Yellow dust jacket, brown lettering. Price $2.50. 2500 copies printed.
1939Old Possum's Book of Practical CatsLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1939]First edition. "First published in September Mcmxxxix" stated on © page. Yellow cloth, red lettering. Pictorial yellow dust jacket, black lettering.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1939]. First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page. Grey cloth, black lettering. Pictorial orange dust jacket, black lettering.
ALSO: London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1940]. First illustrated edition. "First illustrated edition November Mcmxl" stated on © page. Pictorial cream cloth, red lettering. Cream pictorial dust jacket, printed in black & red.
1939The Idea of a Christian SocietyLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1939]First edition. "First published in October MCMXXXIX" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Red dust jacket, black lettering. 2000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1940]. First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, blue lettering. 3000 copies printed.
1940East CokerThe New English Weekly, 1940First edition. Unbound, held in place with two staples.
ALSO: Second edition. "Reprinted from the Easter Number" stated on the title page. Unbound, wire-stiched.
ALSO: London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1940]. Third (first Faber) edition. "First published in September Mcmxl" stated on © page. Yellow wrappers, black lettering.
1941Burnt NortonLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1941]First edition. "First published in February Mcmxli" stated on © page. Green wrapper, black lettering; wire-stiched.
1941Points of ViewLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1941]First edition. "First published in June Mcmxli" stated on © page. Blue cloth, red lettering. Grey dust jacket, red lettering.
1941The Dry SalvagesLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1941]First edition. "First published in September Mcmxli" stated on © page. Blue wrappers, black lettering. 11,223 copies printed.
1942The Classics and the Man of LettersLondon: Oxford University Press, 1942First edition. Pale-blue wrappers, black lettering. 5017 copies printed.
NOTE: In the first copies printed the “t” of “the” in line 6 of the title-page is correctly printed; in later copies the letter registers so weakly as almost to disappear.
1942The Music of PoetryGlasgow: Jackson, Son & Co., 1942First edition. Tan wrappers, dark blue lettering. 1000 copies printed.
1942Little GiddingLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1942]First edition. "First published in Mcmxlii" stated on © page. Mulberry wrappers, black lettering. Sewn or (later) wire-stiched.
1943Four QuartetsNY: Harcourt, Brace Co., [1943]First edition. "First American edition" stated on © page.. Black cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, pzz black, cream and grey. 4615 copies printed (of which 3373 copies were destroyed due to printer's error). ALSO: London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1944]. First English edition. "First published … Mcmxliv" stated on © page. Tan cloth, gilt lettering. Grey dust jacket, pzz black and red. 6000 copies printed.
1943Reunion by DestructionLondon: The Pax House, [1943]First edition. Grey-brown or (later?) tan wrappers, black lettering.
1945What is a Classic?London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1945]First edition. "First published in Mcmxlv" stated on © page. Two issues, priority unknown:
A) Virgil Society issue for distribution gratis to members. Green wrappers, black lettering. 500 copies printed.
B) Regular issue. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Cream dust jacket, printed in black & red
1946Die Einheit der europäischen KulturBerlin: Carl Haben Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1946First edition. Yellow wrapper, brown lettering. Two states, priority as listed:
A) pp. 58 & 59 are numbered.
B) pp. 58 & 59 are unnumbered.
1947A Practical PossumCambridge: Harvard Printing Office, MCMXLVIIFirst edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Limited edition of 80 numbered copies for distribution gratis. Grey-green wrappers, black lettering.
1947On PoetryConcord, Massachusetts, 1947First edition. Limited edition of 750 numbered copies, for distribution gratis to alumnae and friends of Concord Academy. Olive-green wrappers, grey and green lettering.
1947MiltonLondon: Geoffrey Cumberlege, 1947First edition. Grey wrappers, sewn, black lettering. 500 copies printed.
1948A SermonCambridge: University Press, [1948]First edition. Unbound, sewn. For distribution gratis to members of the college. 300 copies printed.
1948Selected PoemsPenguin Books, Harmondsworth: Faber & Faber, [1948]First edition."First published in Penguin Books 1948" stated on © page. White wrappers, grey & black lettering. 50,000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1967] First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page.. White wrappers, printed in yellow, blue, purple, black & red. 50,000 copies printed.
1948Notes Towards the Definition of CultureLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1948]First edition. "First published in mcmxlviii" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Cream dust jacket, red & black lettering. 6000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1949]. First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in grey & turquoise. With 10 titles listed under "Books by T.S Eliot" on back panel, latter issues only have 8 titles.
1948From Poe to ValeryNY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1948]First edition. Limited edition of 1500 copies. Privately printed for distribution gratis. Dark blue boards, white & green lettering. Issued in green paper mailing envelope.
1949The Undergraduate PoemsCambridge: The Harvard Advocate, [1949]First edition. Grey wrappers, black lettering. Published without authorization. 1000 copies printed.
1949The Aims of Poetic DramaLondon: The Poets' Theatre Guild, 1949First edition. Unbound, wire-stiched. 5000 copies printed for distribution gratis to members of the Poets’ Theatre Guild and for sale at 6d.;
1950The Cocktail PartyLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1950]First edition. "First published in mcml" stated on © page. Green cloth, gilt lettering. Grey dust jacket, printed in black & red. Two issues, no priority:
A) Misprint "here for "her" p. 29, line 1.
B) Misprint corrected. Both were bound up and issued simultaneously. 19, 950 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1950]. First American edition. No "fist American edition" on © page. Later impressions are identified by code symbols. 10,000 copies printed.
1950Poems Written in Early YouthStockholm: Privately printed, 1950First edition. White boartds, white paste-on label, black lettering. Limited edition of 12 numbered copies, not for sale.
ALSO: London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1967]. Second trade edition. "First published in mcmlxvii" stated on © page. Purple cloth, gilt lettering. Yellow dust jacket, printed in black & purple. 15,000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Farrar, Straus & Giroux, [1967]. First American edition. "First American printing, 1967" stated on © page. Green cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in green, black, blue & gold. 3500 copies printed.
1951Poetry and DramaCambridge: Harvard University Press, 1951First edition. Dark-blue cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in blue, black and brown. Price $1.50. 5000 copies printed.
ALSO: London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1951. First English edition. "First published in mcmli" stated on © page. Red cloth, gilt lettering. Blue dust jacket, red lettering. 10,000 copies printed.
1952The Value and Use of Cathedrals in England TodayChichester: Friends of Chichester Cathedeals, [1952]First edition. White wrappers, black lettering. Price: 1s. 2000 copies printed.
1952An Address to Members of the London LibraryLondon: The London Library, [1952]First edition. Statement of limitation of the colophon page. Blue wrappers, red & black lettering. Sewn. 500 copies printed.
ALSO: The Providence Athenaeum, Rhode Island, 1953. First American edition. Unbound, wire-stiched. 1100 copies printed for distribution gratis to members and friends.
1952The Complete Poems and PlaysNY: Harcourt, Brace, [1952]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Blue-green cloth, dark grey & silver lettering. White dust jacket, printed in blue, gold & black. Price $6.00. 12,600 copies printed.
1953Selected ProseLondon: Penguin Books, [1953]First edition. "First published 1953" stated on © page. White wrappers, printed in purple & black.
1953American Lilerature and the American LanguageWashington University, Missouri, [1953]First edition. Grey wrappers, gilt lettering. 500 copies printed.
1953The Three Voices of PoetryCambridge University Press, 1953First edition. Cream wrappers, printed in green. ALSO: NY: Cambridge University Press, 1954. First American edition. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Grey dust jacket, printed in blue and red.
1954The Confidential ClerkLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1954]First edition. "First published in mcmliv" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Yellow dust jacket printed in red & black. Price 10s6d. (later increased to 12s6d). 20,000 copies printed.
NOTE: Some copies (about half) have a misprint "Ihad" for "I had" p. 7, line 2 up. Fixed in press. Both were bound up and issued simultaneously.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1954]. First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page.. Black cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket printed in brown & black. Price $3.00. 26,000 copies printed.
1954Religious Drama: Mediaeval and ModernNY: House Books, Ltd. 1954First edition. Lmited edition of 300 numbered and signed copies [plus 26 lettered copies for presentation]. The limitation sheet is inserted. Red cloth, gilt lettering. Glassine dust jacket.
1954The Cultivation of Christmas TreesLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1954]First edition. "First published mcmliv" stated on © page. White wrappers printed in blue & black; sewn. Issued in pale-pink mailing envelope printed in black. ALSO: NY: Farrar, Straus & Co., [1956]. First American edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Decorative white boards printed all-over in black. Issued in yellow paper mailing envelope, printed in black. Price $1.25. 30,000 copies printed.
1955The Literature of PoliticsLondon: Conservative Political Centre, [1955]First edition. "First published in June 1955" stated on © page. Cream-wehite wrappers, printed in blue & black. 6160 copies printed.
1956The Frontiers of CriticismMinn: University of Minnesota Press, [1956]First edition. White wrappers, printed all-over in green. Issued in white mailing envelope, black lettering. Distributed gratis. 10, 050 copies printed.
1957On Poetry and PoetsLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1957]First edition. "First published in mcmlvii" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Yellow dust jacket, printed in grey and black. Price 21s. 6180 copies printed.
ALSO: NY:Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, 1957 . First American edition. "First printing" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. Pictorial white dust jacket, printed in in blue & black.
1959The Elder StatesmanLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1959]First edition. "First published in mcmlix" stated on © page. Red cloth, gilt lettering. Green (or, later, thinner grey) dust jacket, printed in red and black. 15,000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY:Farrar, Straus & Cudahy, [1959]. "First printing" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in black & orange.
1961Geoffrey Faber 1889-1961London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1961]First edition. Limited edition of 100 copies, privately printed for distribution gratis. Brown boards, gilt lettering. Plain cellophane dust jacket. (Later copies issued in plain brown slipcase.)
1962Collected PlaysLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1962]First collected edition. "First published in mcmlxii" stated on © page. Green cloth, red-brown & gilt lettering. Blue dust jacket printed in red & black.
1962George HerbertLongmans, Green & Co., [1962]First edition. "First published in 1962" stated on © page. Pale yellow-green wrappers, printed in green & black; wire-stiched. 8000 copies printed.
ALSO: Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, [1964]. White wrappers, printed in brown, rose and black. 5000 copies printed.
1963Collected Poems 1909-1962London: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1963]First edition. "First published in mcmlxiii" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Yellow dust jacket, printed in black, blue and red. 15,090 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1963]. First American edition. "First American edition" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in plum, yellow and black. Price $5.00. 8000 copies printed.
1964Knowledge and Experience in the Philosophy of F. H. BradleyLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1964]Unpublished edition [1963]. "First published in mcmlxiii" stated on © page. Blue cloth, black & gold lettering. White dust jacket, printed in blue & black. Not published. 4961 sets of sheets were printed and 2961 were bound and delivered to the warehouse of the publishers in May 1963; the remaining 2000 sets of sheets were pulped by the binders. All save “a very few” of the bound copies were destroyed by the publishers.
ALSO: First published edition [1964]. "First published in mcmlxiv" stated on © page. Blue cloth, black & gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in blue & black.
ALSO: NY: Farrar, Straus & Co., [1964]. "First printing" stated on © page. Gold boards, gilt lettering. White dust jacket, printed in black, orange and gold. Price $4.50. 5000 copies printed.
1965To Criticize the Critic and Other WrittingsLondon: Faber & Faber Ltd., [1965]First edition. "First published in mcmlxv" stated on © page. Blue cloth, gilt lettering. Green dust jacket, printed in black, red and blue. 6000 copies printed.
ALSO: NY: Farrar, Straus & Co., [1965]. Two issues, priority as listed:
A) "First printing" stated on © page. Beige cloth, dark brown & gillt lettering. Off-white dust jacket, printed in brown, red and yellow. 10,000 sheets printed (of which 2500 were used for the 2nd issue).
B) Off-white wrappers, printed in black, red and yellow. Publisher given on page [iv] of wrapper as: The Noonday Press. 2500 copies printed. These are the first American edition sheets slightly cut down but otherwise unchanged.

T. S. Eliot – First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of ‘s works. Only includes the first appearance in book form. Either the UK or US edition.

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • Donald Gallup – T. S. Eliot, A Biliography, A Revised and Extended Edition, 1969.

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

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