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Modern First Editions

Modern First Edition books represents one of the most exciting and dynamic areas of book collecting at Shapero Rare Books currently, attracting collectors of literature across a range of ages and catering to a very broad church of tastes and enthusiasms.

Modern First Editions at Shapero Rare BooksThe relatively contemporary nature of the authors that tend to be encompassed by the term Modern First Editions (the exact definition of which varies remarkably depending on with whom you speak) means they resonate with many current book collectors. Collecting modern first editions appeals equally to those with established book collections and those just beginning to start building their own collections, and the vast variety of price-points allows for collectors at all levels a point of entry.

Literature, particularly that of the 19th & 20th centuries, has branched out into a wealth of sub-genres, notably, perhaps science fiction, detective fiction, horror & gothic, weird & supernatural literature, and this is mirrored by collecting habits. Collectors of modern first editions can range from those seeking perceived high-spots of 20th & 21st-century fiction to those who are thrilled by dust-jacketed genre titles, runs of prize-winning books (such as the Booker Prize), solely inscribed books and individual author collections.

For similar reasons modern fiction can also make for very good gifts, particularly signed and inscribed books by popular (or even highly specialised) authors.

Modern First Editions to Collect

Collecting first editions can be fun and challenging, but if you would like to find out more please contact our specialists Adam Blakeney and Angus Robb. They will be more than happy to advise you further, and their knowledge of issue points, condition factors and relative scarcity should help those both looking to start collecting or further develop upon existing rare books collections.

If you're in possession of a first edition to sell, please contact us for more information.

See below to buy first edition books, available at Shapero



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  1. First edition, 8vo, original boards, dust-jacket, spine slightly sunned, a little rubbed at extremities.

  2. First edition, 8vo, original boards, dust-jacket, slightly rubbed at corners, otherwise near fine.

  3. First edition, 8vo, colour frontispiece and monotone illustrations by Graham Dean, original cloth, dust-jacket, a fine copy.

  4. First edition, signed by the author on half-title, 8vo, photographic portrait and illustrations, original boards, dust-jacket, neatly price-clipped, otherwise a fine copy.

  5. First edition, inscribed; 'For Lucy with love from the author. January 14th 1936' in black ink on the front free endpaper; 8vo; publisher's cloth, slight rolling to spine, dust-jacket designed by Misha Black, slightly frayed at extremities of spine, otherwise very good.

  6. Readers Library film tie-in edition, first thus, 8vo, original gilt-tooled cloth, pictorial wrap-around dust-jacket depicting the film's star Harold Lloyd, some wear & tear.

  7. Early issue, 8vo, original cloth, dust-jacket by Frank Sherwin, one closed tear to top-edge of upper panel, minor fraying but overall an attractive copy.

  8. First edition, 8vo; slight age-toning, bookplate to upper pastedown, else fine; publisher's black cloth gilt, geometric design to upper cover, printed dust-jacket, the upper panel bisected into boxes containing appraisals of the author's literary skills and the rear one with reviews of this title from literary luminaries such as Ford Madox Ford, John Dos Passos and Waldo Frank, some age-darkening, more so to spine, chipped on corners and spine-ends with short split to inner edge of upper panel, otherwise in a remarkably good and original state; [1-15], 16-214, [215, blank] pp.

  9. First edition, Crown 8vo., one of 2000 copies printed, toned at extremities, the odd spot, else very clean, publisher's moss-green cloth boards, spine lettered in gold, upper cover ruled and lettered in black, a little shaken, slight shelf-lean, rubbed at extremities, one short split to top of spine, general dust-soiling, else good.

  10. First edition, number 29 of 100, copies on hand-made paper SIGNED by Beckett, 8vo., spotting to front endpapers, publisher's taupe-coloured buckram ruled and lettered in gilt, a few small spots, else near-fine; matching slip-case.



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Contact us for more information about Modern First Editions

+44 (0)20 7493 0876