Book Collecting

Zane Grey – First Edition Books Identification Guide

Zane Grey
Zane Grey

Pearl Zane Grey (1872 – 1939) was an American author and dentist. He is known for his popular adventure novels and stories associated with the Western genre in literature and the arts; he idealized the American frontier. Riders of the Purple Sage (1912) was his best-selling book.

Zane Grey was a major force in shaping the myths of the Old West; his books and stories were adapted into other media, such as film and TV productions. He was the author of more than 90 books, some published posthumously or based on serials originally published in magazines. His total book sales exceed 40 million.

Zane Grey wrote not only Westerns, but two hunting books, six children’s books, three baseball books, and eight fishing books. Many of them became bestsellers. It is estimated that he wrote more than nine million words in his career. From 1917 to 1926, Grey was in the top ten best-seller list nine times, which required sales of more than 100,000 copies each time. Even after his death, Harper had a stockpile of his manuscripts and continued to publish a new title each year until 1963. During the 1940s and afterward, as Grey’s books were reprinted as paperbacks, his sales exploded.

Grey co-founded the “Porpoise Club” with his friend, Robert H. Davis of Munsey’s Magazine, to popularize the sport of hunting of dolphins and porpoises. They made their first catch off Seabright, New Jersey, on September 21, 1912, where they harpooned and reeled in a bottlenose dolphin.

Grey also helped establish deep-sea sport fishing in New South Wales, Australia, particularly in Bermagui, which is famous for marlin fishing. Patron of the Bermagui Sport Fishing Association for 1936 and 1937, Grey set a number of world records, and wrote of his experiences in his book An American Angler in Australia.

In addition to the success of his printed works, his books have second lives and continuing influence adapted for films and television. Grey started his association with Hollywood when William Fox bought the rights to Riders of the Purple Sage for $2,500 in 1916. The ascending arc of Grey’s career matched that of the motion picture industry. It eagerly adapted Western stories to the screen practically from its inception, with Bronco Billy Anderson becoming the first major western star. Legendary director John Ford was then a young stage hand and Tom Mix, who had been a real cowhand, was defining the persona of the film cowboy. The Grey family moved to California to be closer to the film industry and to enable Grey to fish in the Pacific.

After his first two books were adapted to the screen, Grey formed his own motion picture company. This enabled him to control production values and faithfulness to his books. After seven films he sold his company to Jesse Lasky who was a partner of the founder of Paramount Pictures. Paramount made a number of movies based on Grey’s writings and hired him as advisor. Many of his films were shot at locations described in his books.

Many famous actors got their start in films based on Zane Grey books. They included Gary Cooper, Randolph Scott, William Powell, Wallace Beery, Richard Arlen, Buster Crabbe, Shirley Temple, and Fay Wray. Victor Fleming, later director of Gone with the Wind, and Henry Hathaway, who later directed True Grit, both learned their craft on Grey films.

His novels and short stories were adapted into 112 films, two television episodes, and a television series, Dick Powell’s Zane Grey Theatre. Grey became one of the first millionaire authors.

Zane Grey died of heart failure on October 23, 1939, aged 67 at his home in Altadena, California.

Zane Grey- First Editions Identification Guide

Please refer to the Dust Jacket section for First Edition Dust Jackets Identification Guide.

Zane Grey - First edition Books Identification Points
YearTitlePublisherFirst edition/printing identification points
1903Betty ZaneCharles Francis Press, NY, [1903]First edition. No mention of edition on the title page. Decorated light purple cloth.
1906The Spirit of the BorderA. L. Burt Co., NY, [1906]First edition. With four pages of ads, and Burt's address listed as 52-58 Duane Street. Decorative gray cloth, red lettering.
1908The Last of the PlainsmenOuting Publishing, NY, MCMVIIIFirst edition. Date on title page & © page matches. Decorative green cloth, grey lettering.
1909The Last TrailA. L. Burt Co., NY, [1909]First edition. Two pages of advertisements, and the address in the Burt advertisements listed as 52-58 Duane Street. Green cloth, pictorial paste-down.
1909The Short StopA. C. M© pagelurg, NY, [1909]First edition. Date 1009 stated on © page, no mention of later printing. Pictorial green cloth.
1910The Heritage of the DesertHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXFirst edition. "Published Septermber, 1910" stated on © page. No date code on the © page. Black pictorial cloth, gilt lettering.
1910The Young ForesterHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXFirst edition. "Published October, 1910" stated on © page. No date code on the © page. Tan pictorial cloth, greeen lettering.
1911The Young PitcherHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXIFirst edition. "Published March, 1911" stated on © page. No date code on the © page. Green pictorial cloth, black lettering.
1911The Young Lion HunterHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXIFirst edition. "Published October, 1911" stated on © page. No date code on © page. Mustard pictorial cloth.
1912Riders of the Purple SageHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXIIFirst edition. "Published January, 1912" stated on © page. No date code on © page. Light brown  cloth, pictorial paste-down.
1912Ken Ward in the JungleHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXIIFirst edition. "Published September, 1912" stated on © page. No date code on © page. Green cloth, pictorial paste-down, orange lettering.
1913Desert GoldHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXIIIFirst edition. Date code "C-N" stated on © page. Olive cloth, pictorial paste-down, gilt lettering.
1914The Light of Western StarsHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXIVFirst edition. Date code "M-N" stated on © page. Dark blue pictorial cloth, gilt lettering.
1915The Lone Star RangerHarper & Brothers, NY, MCMXVFirst edition. Date code "M-O" stated on © page. Black pictorial cloth, gilt lettering.
1915The Rainbow TrailHarper & Brothers, NY, [1916]First edition. Date code "F-P" stated on © page. Green pictorial cloth, gilt lettering.
1916The Border LegionHarper & Brothers, NY, [1917]First edition. Date code "E-Q" stated on © page. Green pictorial cloth, gilt lettering.
1917WildfireHarper & Brothers, NY, [1915]First edition. Date code "L-Q" stated on © page. Burgundy cloth, gilt lettering.
1918The Roaring U.P. TrailHarper & Brothers, NY, [1918]First edition. Date code "A-S" stated on © page. Three issues, priority unknown: Flexible burgundy pebbled cloth, Green or pink pictorial cloth, gilt lettering.
1919The Desert of WheatHarper & Brothers, NY, [1919]First edition. Date code "A-T" stated on © page. Green cloth, gilt lettering.
1919Tales of FishesHarper & Brothers, NY, [1920]First edition. Date code "F-T" stated on © page. Issued in various bindings: Half-tan morocco, marbled boards, gilt lettering, top edge gilt (presentation?). Gray cloth, pictorial paste-down, gilt lettering.
1920The Man of the ForestHarper & Brothers, NY, [1919]First edition. Date code "A-U" stated on © page. Green cloth, gilt lettering.
1920The Redheaded Outfield and other Baseball StoriesGrosset & Dunlap, NY, [1920]First edition. Copies have been noted both with and without a frontis but is believed that copies with the frontispiece are later. List of Zane Grey novels in the first page of ads at the back should list eleven titles, the last being "The Last of the Great Scouts". Issued in tan or green cloth.
1921The Mysterious RiderHarper & Brothers, NY, [1921]First edition. Date code "I-U" stated on © page. Pictorial green cloth, black lettering.
1921To the Last ManHarper & Brothers, NY, [1921]First edition. Date code "K-V" stated on © page. Pictorial tan/mustard cloth.
1922The Day of the BeastHarper & Brothers, NY, [1922]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "G-W" stated on © page. Red cloth, gilt lettering.
1922Tales of Lonely TrailsHarper & Brothers, NY, [1922]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "G-W" stated on © page. Green cloth, pictorial paste-down, gilt lettering.
1923Wanderer of the WastelandHarper & Brothers, NY, [1923]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "L-W" stated on © page. Pictorial red cloth.
1923Tappan's BurroHarper & Brothers, NY, [1923]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "I-X" stated on © page. Navy blue cloth, pictorial paste-down, gilt lettering.
1924The Call of the CanyonHarper & Brothers, NY, [1924]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "K-X" stated on © page. Pictorial orange cloth.
1924Roping Lions in the Grand CanyonHarper & Brothers, NY, [1924]First edition. Date code "B-Y" stated on © page. Pictorial tan cloth, black lettering.
1924Tales of Southern RiversHarper & Brothers, NY, [1924]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "H-Y" stated on © page. Green cloth, pictorial paste-down, gilt lettering.
1925The Thundering HerdHarper & Brothers, NY, [1925]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "L-Y" stated on © page. Pictorial mustard cloth.
1925The Vanishing AmericanHarper & Brothers, NY, [1925]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "K-Z" stated on © page. Red or orange cloth, black lettering.
1925Tales of Fishing Virgin SeasHarper & Brothers, NY, 1925First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "I-Z" stated on © page. Green cloth, gilt lettering.
1926Under the Tonto RimHarper & Brothers, NY, 1926First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "F-A" stated on © page. Green cloth, black lettering.
1926Tales of the Angler's Eldorado, New ZealandHarper & Brothers, NY, 1926First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "G-A" stated on © page. Navy blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1927Forlorn RiverHarper & Brothers, NY, 1927First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "H-B" stated on © page. Pictorial red cloth. Blue lettering.
1927Tales of Swordfish and TunaHarper & Brothers, NY, 1927First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "H-B" stated on © page. Purple or dark blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1928NevadaHarper & Brothers, NY, 1928First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "B-C" stated on © page. Tan cloth, black lettering.
1928Wild Horse MesaHarper & Brothers, NY, 1928First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "G-C" stated on © page. Blue cloth, black lettering.
1928Don, the Story of a Lion DogHarper & Brothers, NY, 1928First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "G-C" stated on © page. Pictorial green cloth, black lettering.
1928Tales of Fresh Water FishingHarper & Brothers, NY, 1928First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "F-C" stated on © page. Navy blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1929Stairs of SandHarper & Brothers, NY, 1928First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "C-S" stated on © page. Reddish/orange cloth, black lettering.
1929Fighting CaravansHarper & Brothers, NY, 1929First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "M-D" stated on © page. Navy blue cloth, tan lettering.
1930The Wolf TrackerHarper & Brothers, NY, 1930First edition. Date code "C-E" stated on © page. Orange cloth, black lettering.
1930The Shepherd of GuadaloupeHarper & Brothers, NY, 1930First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "C-E" stated on © page. Navy blue cloth, tan lettering.
1931Sunset PassHarper & Brothers, NY, 1931First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "K-F" stated on © page. Orange cloth, blue lettering.
1931Tales of Tahitian WatersHarper & Brothers, NY, 1931First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "I-F" stated on © page. Red cloth, black lettering.
1931Zane Grey's Book of Camps and TrailsHarper & Brothers, NY, 1931First edition. Date code "G-F" stated on © page. Black cloth, gilt lettering. RARE.
1932Arizona AmesHarper & Brothers, NY, 1932First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "I-F" stated on © page. Tan cloth, red lettering.
1932Robbers' RoostHarper & Brothers, NY, 1932First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "F-G" stated on © page. Black cloth, orange lettering.
1932The Drift FenceHarper & Brothers, NY, 1932First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "K-G" stated on © page. Black cloth, red lettering.
1933The Hash Knife OutfitHarper & Brothers, NY, 1933First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "G-H" stated on © page. Black cloth, orange lettering.
1934The Code of the WestHarper & Brothers, NY, 1934First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "B-I" stated on © page. Orange cloth.
1935Thunder MountainHarper & Brothers, NY, 1935First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "B-K" stated on © page. Olive cloth, yellow lettering.
1935The Trail DriverHarper & Brothers, NY, 1935First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "M-K" stated on © page.Navy blue cloth, yellow lettering.
1936The Lost Wagon TrainHarper & Brothers, NY, 1936First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "G-L" stated on © page. Tan cloth, burgundy lettering.
1937West of the PecosHarper & Brothers, NY, 1937First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "C-M" stated on © page. Navy blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1937An American Angler in AustraliaHarper & Brothers, NY, 1937First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "B-M" stated on © page. Gray cloth, brown lettering.
1938Raiders of Spanish PeaksHarper & Brothers, NY, 1938First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "D-N" stated on © page. Gray cloth, red lettering.
1939Western UnionHarper & Brothers, NY, 1939First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "I-O" stated on © page. Gray cloth, black lettering.
1939Knights of the RangeHarper & Brothers, NY, 1939First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "M-N" stated on © page. Gray cloth, black lettering.
194030,000 on the HoofHarper & Brothers, NY, 1940First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "M-N" stated on © page. Brick red cloth, black lettering.
1940Twin SombrerosHarper & Brothers, NY, 1940First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "C-Q" stated on © page. Burnt orange cloth, black lettering.
1942Majesty's RanchoHarper & Brothers, NY, [1940]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "C-R" stated on © page. Burnt orange cloth, black lettering.
1943Zane Grey's OmnibusHarper & Brothers, NY, [1943]First edition. Date code "B-S" stated on © page. Cadmium green cloth, black lettering. RARE.
1944The Wilderness TrekHarper & Brothers, NY, [1946]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "E-T" stated on © page. Light blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1946Shadow on the TrailHarper & Brothers, NY, [1943]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "A-V" stated on © page. Light blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1947Valley of Wild HorsesHarper & Brothers, NY, [1947]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "B-W" stated on © page. Green cloth, gilt lettering.
1948Rogue River FeudHarper & Brothers, NY, [1948]First edition. Date code "C-X" stated on © page. Tan cloth, red lettering.
1949The Deer StalkerHarper & Brothers, NY, [1950]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "D-Y" stated on © page. Red cloth, black lettering.
1950The Maverick QueenHarper & Brothers, NY, [1949]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "D-Z" stated on © page. Light blue cloth, black lettering.
1951The Dude RangerHarper & Brothers, NY, [1951]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "F-A" stated on © page. Burgundy cloth, gilt lettering.
1952Captives of the DesertHarper & Brothers, NY, [1952]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "B-B" stated on © page. Brick red cloth, gilt lettering.
1952Zane Grey's Adventures in FishingHarper & Brothers, NY, [1952]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "I-B" stated on © page. Light blue cloth, white lettering.
1953WyomingHarper & Brothers, NY, [1953]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "F-C" stated on © page. Yellow cloth, white lettering.
1954Lost PuebloHarper & Brothers, NY, [1954]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "H-D" stated on © page.
1955Black MesaHarper & Brothers, NY, [1955]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "H-E" stated on © page. Gray cloth, gilt lettering.
1956Stranger from the TontoHarper & Brothers, NY, [1956]First edition. Date code "G-F" stated on © page. Brick red cloth, gilt lettering.
1957The Fugitive TrailHarper & Brothers, NY, [1957]First edition. Copyright date 1957 on © page. No mention of other printing. Blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1958Arizona ClanHarper & Brothers, NY, [1958]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "H-H" stated on © page. Gray cloth, gilt lettering.
1959Horse Heaven HillHarper & Brothers, NY, [1959]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "F-I" stated on © page. Burgundy cloth, gilt lettering.
1960The Ranger and Other StoriesHarper & Brothers, NY, [1960]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "E-K" stated on © page. Yellow cloth, gilt lettering.
1961Blue Feather and Other StoriesHarper & Brothers, NY, [1961]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "I-L" stated on © page. Light blue cloth, gilt lettering.
1963Boulder DamHarper & Brothers, NY, [1963]First edition. "First edition" stated on © page. Date code "G-N" stated on © page. Gray cloth, gilt lettering.

Zane Grey- First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide 1903-1919

Gallery of First state Dust Jackets of ‘s works. Only includes the first appearance in book form.

Zane Grey- First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide 1920-1929

Zane Grey- First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide 1930-1939

Zane Grey- First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide 1940-1949

Zane Grey- First Printing Dust Jackets Identification Guide 1950-1963

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • Edward Meyers – A Bibliographical Check List of the Writings of Zane Grey, 1986

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

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