Ray Bradbury Fahrenheit 451 1st Appearances
Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451 is a classic book. One of those wonderful books that tells a great story and also has a classic message about censorship and the important of keeping thoughts and words free. The novel presents a future American society where books are outlawed and "firemen" burn any that are found. Anyone who has read this classic tale knows the struggle of Guy Montag and his evolution as one of the "fireman" sent to burn entire houses down that contain books to being a hobo "book memorizer" traveling the rails as a renegade who memorizes books and words so they can't be destroyed by "fireman". The first publication of this classic novel was in Galaxy Science Fiction Magazine in February 1951 in a shorter version called "The Fireman".
The first U.S. printing was a paperback version from October 1953 by Ballantine Books. The paperback edition preceded the hardback version by 6 to 8 weeks so it is considered the "True first edition" or a "paperback original". This was Bradbury's 1st published novel.
Shortly after the paperback, a hardback version was released that included a special edition of 200 signed and numbered copies bound in abestos. Two hundred numbered and signed copies of the book were bound in Johns-Manville Quinterra, a chrysolite asbestos material. The abestos version did not have a dust jacket.
That edition came out at the same time as the hardcover 1st edition of the book. Approximately 3500 to 5000 copies of this edition were published. It's relatively rare since it is such a coveted book. There were 3 binding states with no priority. This had a wonderful dust jacket by Joseph Mugnaini. The novel was published with an additional two short stories called: "The Playground" and "And the Rock Cried Out". The dust jacket is classic art and has since became an iconic image in American Literature. It shows a man made of newspaper on fire while a stack of books are at his feet. The novel is a a visionary work of social commentary, one that school teachers assign as mandatory reading.
The first British edition of Fahrenheit 451 was published by Rupert Hart Davis in London in 1954. The cover art is the same as the US first hardcover edition except it is has a red backdrop. It is a rare book as well.
Ray Bradbury wrote several other classic books. The 1st U.S. paperback edition of "The Martian Chronicles" is shown below. This is a group of short stories about colonizing Mars.
The Golden Apples of the Sun by Ray Bradbury was a series of short stories. Here is the first paperback edition. A Bantam book.
A great place to look for rare books is ebay and ABE.com. Editions of Ray Bradbury's classic novels are very collectible and make a unique gifts. Sweetheartsinner also has many science fiction related gift ideas as well.
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