Book Collecting

Virginia Woolf – First Edition Books: Identification Guide

Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf

Adeline Virginia Woolf (1882 – 1941) was an English writer, considered one of the most important modernist 20th-century authors and a pioneer in the use of stream of consciousness as a narrative device.

Throughout her life, Woolf was troubled by her mental illness. She was institutionalised several times and attempted suicide at least twice. Her illness may have been bipolar disorder, for which there was no effective intervention during her lifetime. In 1941, at age 59, Woolf died by drowning herself in the River Ouse at Lewes.

During the interwar period, Woolf was an important part of London’s literary and artistic society. In 1915 she published her first novel, The Voyage Out, through her half-brother’s publishing house, Gerald Duckworth and Company. Her best-known works include the novels Mrs Dalloway (1925), To the Lighthouse (1927) and Orlando (1928). She is also known for her essays, including A Room of One’s Own (1929), in which she wrote the much-quoted dictum, “A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.”

Woolf is considered to be one of the more important 20th century novelists. A modernist, she was one of the pioneers of using stream of consciousness as a narrative device, alongside contemporaries such as Marcel Proust, Dorothy Richardson and James Joyce.

Virginia Woolf is known for her contributions to 20th-century literature and her essays, as well as the influence she has had on literary, particularly feminist criticism. A number of authors have stated that their work was influenced by her, including Margaret Atwood, Michael Cunningham, Gabriel García Márquez, and Toni Morrison.

Woolf became one of the central subjects of the 1970s movement of feminist criticism and her works have since garnered much attention and widespread commentary for “inspiring feminism”. Her works have been translated into more than 50 languages. A large body of literature is dedicated to her life and work, and she has been the subject of plays, novels and films. Woolf is commemorated today by statues, societies dedicated to her work and a building at the University of London.

Virginia Woolf – First Editions Identification Guide

How to Identify First Edition books by Virginia Woolf
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/Printing Identification Points
1915The Voyage OutLondon: Duckworth & Co., 1915Bright moss-green cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Grey-green dust-jacket printed in navy-blue (6s).
ALSO: New York: George H. Doran Co., [9120]. First American edition. Green cloth boards; lettered in black on spine. White dust-jacket printed in black ($2.25). "Copyright, 1920, | By George H. Doran Company" stated on © page.
Note: The text was revised by the author for the first American edition. Apart from the American sheets issued by Duckworth in 1920 and in 1927 and by the Hogarth Press in 1929, the revised version has not been published in the United Kingdom.
ALSO: London: Duckworth & Co., [1920]. First American edition, English issue. Sage-green cloth boards; lettered in black on spine. Dust jacket. "Copyright, 1920, | by George H. Doran Company" stated on © page.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1926]. First American edition, first Harcourt, Brace impression. Sky-blue cloth boards; mauve paper label printed in black on spine. Deep cream dust-jacket printed and illustrated in dark blue ($2.50)."Copyright, 1920, | by George H. Doran Company" stated on © page.
1917The Mark on the WallHogarth Press, 1917Japanese paper wrappers; lettered in black on upper cover(1s/6d). Wrappers vary: (1)-(2) Japanese paper, red and white conventional all-over design or dull blue; (3) thin yellow paper wrappers. Contains two stories: Three Jews by Leonard Woolf and The Mark on the Wall by Virginia Woolf. 150 copies printed.
Note: The Hogarth Press was started in 1917 by Leonard and Virginia Woolf as ‘a hobby of printing rather than publishing. This, the first publication of the Hogarth Press, was printed by the authors on a hand-press. The woodcuts are by Dora Carrington. The short story was not published separately in the United States. It was reprinted (revised) in Monday or Tuesday and in A Haunted House and Other Short Stories.
ALSO: Hogarth Press, 1919. First separate edition. Thin off-white paper wrappers (1s/6d). "First Published —July 1917 | Second Edition—June 1919" stated on verso of cover.
1919Kew GardensHogarth Press, 1919Off-white wall-paper wrappers, hand colour-washed on the outside in royal-blue, chocolate-brown and orange on a black ground; white printed paper label on upper cover (2s). 150 copies printed.
ALSO: Hogarth Press, 1919. Second English edition. Off-white wall-paper wrappers, with floral pattern in pink, green, pale brown and black, painted on the outside in royal-blue, chocolate brown and orange on a black ground; white printed paper label pasted on upper cover (2s).  500 copies printed. "First Published, May, 1919. | Second Edition, June, 1919" stated on © page.
ALSO: Hogarth Press, [1927]. Third English edition (Limited). White paper boards; decorated upper cover printed in azure-blue, lime-green and milk-chocolate-brown (15s). "This edition, published in 1927" stated on © page. Limited to 500 numbered copies.
Note: A few copies were signed by the author and illustrator.
1919Night and DayLondon: Duckworth & Co., [1919]Dark grey cloth boards; lettered in pale blue on spine. White dust-jacket printed in black (9s). "First published 1919" stated on © page. Note: There was a second impression of 1000 copies in 1920 issued at (3s/6d.) Duckworth & Co. write that they were issued in a binding and dust-jacket similar to the first impression with the addition of a paper label, stating the new price (3s/6d), pasted on the dust-jacket.
ALSO: New York: George H. Doran Co., [1920]. First American edition. Bright green cloth boards; lettered in black on spine. Dark khakhi dust jacket, both flaps blank ($2.25). "Copyright, 1920, | By George H. Doran Company" stated on © page.
1921Monday or TuesdayHogarth Press, [1921]White paper boards, brown cloth spine; black woodcut design on upper cover with lettering: Monday or Tuesday (4s/6d).
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1921. First American edition. Mottled buff paper boards, sage-green cloth spine. Pale tan dust-jacket printed in dark green( $1.50). "Copyright, 1921, by | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc." stated on © page.
1922Jacob's RoomHogarth Press, 1922Crocus-yellow cloth boards; cream printed paper label at head of spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in cinnamon and black, designed by Vanessa Bell (7s/6d). 1200 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of c. 2000 copies in 1922.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1923]. First American edition. Orange cloth boards, cream paper label on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in brown and black, designed by Vanessa Bell ($2.00). "Copyright, 1923, By | Harcourt Brace and Company, Inc." stated on © page.
1924Mr Bennet and Mrs BrownHogarth Press, 1924Stiff white paper wrappers; printed in black on upper cover (2s/6d).
Note: There was a second impression of 1000 copies in 1928.
1925The Common ReaderHogarth Press, 1925White paper boards, pale grey cloth spine; lettered in black on spine. Cream dust-jacket with upper cover design reproduced (12s/6d). 1250 copies printed.
ALSO: Hogarth Press, 1925. Second impression of 1000 copies. Pale grey cloth boards; cream paper label on spine printed in dark blue, cream dust-jacket printed in dark blue. "First published, April 1925. | Second Edition, November 1925" stated on © page.
1925Mrs DallowayHogarth Press, 1925Deep rust cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in black and yellow, designed by Vanessa Bell (7s/6d). Published May 1925; 2000 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 1000 copies in September 1925, called a ‘Second Edition’ on © page.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1925]. First American edition. Orange cloth boards; white paper label on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in black and yellow, designed by Vanessa Bell ($2.50). "Copyright, 1925, By | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc." stated on © page. Published May 1925, 2100 copies printed.
Note: There were second and third impressions of 1500 copies each in May and August 1925, a fourth of 750 in March 1927 and a fifth of 1000 in October 1927. The sixth impression of 2100 copies was issued on 29 January 1931.
1927To the LighthouseHogarth Press, 1927Bright blue cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in pale blue and black, designed by Vanessa Bell (7s/6d). Published May 1927; 3000 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 1000 copies in June 1927 and a third of 1500 in May 1928.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1927]. First American edition. Pale green cloth boards; lettered in blue on spine. Green dust-jacket printed in black and blue ($2.50). "Copyright, 1927, By | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc." stated on © page. Published May 1927; 4000 copies printed.
Note: There were second and third impressions of 1500 and 2100 copies in June and August 1927, a fourth of 1500 in June 1930 and a fifth of 1000 in February 1935.
1928Orlando: A BiographyHogarth Press, 1928Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) New York: Crosby Gaige, 1928. Limited edition of 861 copies, of which 800 numbered copies are signed (in purple ink) by the author . Black cloth boards; patterned in gold on spine . Plain glassine dust-jacket ($15). "Copyright, 1928, Crosby Gaige" stated on © page.
Note: A further limited number of copies (~11) were printed on green paper and bound in marbled paper boards with black moro© pageo spine lettered in gold and with a slipcase.
  • (B) Hogarth Press, 1928. First English trade edition. Orange cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. White dust-jacket printed in black with illustration (9s). Note: There is a variant of the binding in brown cloth boards.Probably advance copies, unconfirmed. There was a second impression of 3000 copies in October 1928 and a third of 3000 in January 1929.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1928], First American edition. Dull blue cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cinnamon dust-jacket printed in black and deeper cinnamon ($3). "Copyright, 1928, by Virginia Woolf | First Regular Edition" stated on © page. Note: There were five re-impressions totaling 14,950 copies between November 1928 and February 1933.
1929A Room of One's OwnHogarth Press, 1929Two issues, no priority:
  • (A) New York: The Fountain Press, 1929. Limited edition of 492 copies, signed by the author . Maroon cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. No dust-jacket ? (£2/2s). "Copyright, 1929, | By Harcourt, Brace and Company" stated on © page.
  • (B) Hogarth Press, 1929. First English edition. Cinnamon cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Pale pink dust-jacket printed in navy-blue, designed by Vanessa Bell (5s). 3040 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 3030 copies in November 1929, a third and fourth of 3030 and 3050 copies in December 1929, and a fifth of 2500 in March 1930.
1930Street HauntingThe Westgate Press, San Francisoc, 1930Limited edition of 500 numbered copies, signed (in purple ink) by the author. Grey paper boards patterned in gold and blue, blue leather spine; lettered in gold up the spine. Grey slipcase ($7.50). "Copyright 1930 by Virginia Woolf" stated on © page.
Note: There is at least one variant of the binding in sage-green paper boards patterned in gold and darker green with emerald-green leather spine and a green slip-in case.The ratio is 10-1 in favor of the blue.
1930On Being IllHogarth Press, 1930Limited edition of 250 numbered copies, signed (in purple ink) by the author. First separate edition. Pale blue-green cloth boards, vellum spine; lettered in gold up the spine. White pictorial dust-jacket printed in grey, black and yellow (£1/1s).
1930Beau BrummellRimington & Hopper, New York, 1930Limited edition of 550 copies, signed (in purple ink) by the author. First separate edition. Putty coloured paper boards, red cloth spine; lettered in gold up the spine. Green mottled slipcase ($10). "Copyright, 1930 | by Rimington & Hooper" stated on © page.
1931The WavesHogarth Press, 1931Purple cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in lime-green and brown, designed by Vanessa Bell (7s/6d). "First published in 1931" stated on © page. 7113 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 4940 copies in October 1931. ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1931]. First American edition. Dull blue cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Pale buff dust-jacket printed in lime-green and brown, designed by Vanessa Bell ($2.50). "Copyright, 1931, by | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc." stated on © page. 10,000 copies printed:
Note: There was a second impression of 2000 copies in November 1931.
1932A Letter to a Young PoetHogarth Press, 1932First separate edition. Stiff cream paper wrappers; printed in black on upper cover (1s). "First Published 1932" stated on © page. 6000 copies printed.
Note: Five hundred copies of the above were bound up in the collection entitled The Hogarth Letters with ten other volumes in the series. They were issued in 1933 in buff paper boards; brown cloth spine; lettered in black on spine; illustrated upper cover printed in black and brown.
1932The Common Reader: Second SeriesHogarth Press, 1932Bright jade-green cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. White dust-jacket printed in vermilion and azure, designed by Vanessa Bell (10s/6d). 3200 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 1515 copies in November 1932.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1932]. First American edition. Dark blue cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in crimson and bright blue, designed by Vanessa Bell ($2.50). "Copyright, 1932, by | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., first printing" stated on © page.
1933Flush: A BiographyHogarth Press, 1933Pale buff cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in brown with illustration of dog (7s/6d). "First published, October 1933" stated on © page. 12,680 copies printed.
Note: The dust-jacket records this as the ‘Large Paper Edition’. There was a second impression of 3000 copies in October 1933.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1933]. First American edition. Pinkish-brown cloth boards; lettered in silver on spine. White dust-jacket printed in chrome-yellow and black with illustration of dog ($2). 7500 copies printed.
Note: There were twelve re-impressions totaling 23,782 copies between October 1933 and January 1956.
1934Walter Sickert: A ConversationHogarth Press, 1934First separate edition. Stiff pale duck-egg-blue paper wrappers; lettered in black. "First published 1934" stated on © page.
Note: The essay was first published in the Yale Review, September 1934 as 'A Conversation About Art'.
1937The YearsHogarth Press, 1937Pale jade-green cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in black and brown, designed by Vanessa Bell ((8s/6d). "First published in 1937 " stated on © page.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1937]. First American edition. Royal-blue cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine on a brown panel. White dust-jacket printed in dark brown and royal-blue with coloured illustration ($2.50). "first American edition" stated on © page.
1937Three GuineasHogarth Press, 1938Lemon-yellow cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in mauve and blue, designed by Vanessa Bell (7s/6d). "First published 1938 " stated on © page.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1938]. First American edition. Jade-green cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in mauve and blue ($2.50). "first American edition" stated on © page.
1939ReviewingHogarth Press, 1939Stiff pale blue paper wrappers; printed in mauve (6d). "First published 1939 " stated on © page.
1940Roger Fry: A BiographyHogarth Press, 1940Pale jade-green cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Cream dust-jacket printed in black, with portrait of Roger Fry by Vanessa Bell (12s/6d). "First published 1940" stated on © page. 2530 copies printed. Note: There was a second impression of 1130 copies in August 1940 and a third of 1010 in November 1940. ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., 1940. First American edition. Pale jade-green cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Primroseyellow dust-jacket printed in brown ($3.50). "Copyright, 1940, by | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., first American edition" stated on © page.
1941Between the ActsHogarth Press, 1941Bright blue cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. White dust-jacket printed in black, designed by Vanessa Bell (7s/6d). "First published 1941" stated on © page. 6358 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 4600 copies in July 1941 and a third of 2000 in November 1941.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1941]. First American edition. Bright blue cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Buff dust-jacket printed in bright blue and brown, designed by Vanessa Bell ($2.50). Copyright, 1941, by | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., first American edition" stated on © page.
1942The Death of the Moth and Other EssaysHogarth Press, 1942Bright blue cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. White dust-jacket printed in black, designed by Vanessa Bell (9s). "First Published in 1942" stated on © page. 4500 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 4600 copies in June 1942, a third of 2000 in July 1942 and a fourth of 1200 in March 1945. A further 3000 copies were printed by photo-litho offset in March 1947.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1942]. First American edition. Dark green cloth boards; lettered in cream on spine. Cream dust jacket printed in green and brown, designed by Vanessa Bell ($3). "Copyright, 1942, by | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., first American edition," stated on © page. 3475 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 1500 copies in December 1942.
1944A Haunted House and Other Short StoriesHogarth Press, 1943Dull crimson cloth boards;lettered in gold down the spine. White dust-jacket printed in black, designed by Vanessa Bell (7s/6d). "First published 1943" stated on © page. 6000 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 3000 copies in February 1944 and a third of 6000 in June 1944.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1944]. First American edition. Navy-blue cloth boards; lettered in white down the spine. Pale buff dust-jacket printed in bright blue, designed by Vanessa Bell ($2). "Copyright, 1944, by | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc., ... first American edition" stated on © page. 4,000 copies printed.
Note: There were second and third impressions of 3500 copies each in April and May 1944.
1947The Moment and other EssaysHogarth Press, 1947Pale ruby-red cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Pale ruby-red cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Pink dust-jacket printed in black, designed by Vanessa Bell (20s/6d). 10,000 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 3000 copies in November 1948.
ALSO: New York: Harcourt, Brace & Co., [1948]. First American edition. Maroon cloth boards; lettered in gold on spine. Pink dust-jacket printed in black, designed by Vanessa Bell ($3). "Copyright, 1948, by | Harcourt, Brace and Company, Inc." stated on © page. 3500 copies printed.
Note: There was a second impression of 2500 copies in April 1948.

Virginia Woolf – First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide

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

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • A bibliography of Virginia Woolf by B. J. Kirkpatrick.

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

Related Posts

Search
Generic filters
Scroll to Top
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap