The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger, First Edition, First Impression in Original Dust Jacket, 1951

Salinger, J. D. The Catcher in the Rye. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1951. First edition, first issue. Octavo. In the original publisher’s black cloth boards, with gilt titles to the spine. In the original publisher’s first issue dust jacket. Presented with an archival clamshell case. 

This is a very collectible first edition, first issue printing of J. D. Salinger’s novel The Catcher in the Rye. The book was published by Little, Brown and Company in Boston, on July 16, 1951. This book is presented in its original black cloth boards and original first issue dust jacket with $3.00 price on the front flap and with the Lotte Jacobi photo credit on Salinger’s portrait on the rear panel. This first edition, first issue is without “Reprinted July 1951” on the copyright found in later issues. 

The Catcher in the Rye details two days in the life of 16 year old Holden Caulfield, after he is expelled from his school. Confused and disillusioned, Holden is both intrigued and repelled by the trappings and realities of adulthood. An immediate success upon its publication in 1951, and popular with young readers since, the book has sold over 65 million copies.

Since the book’s publication, Holden Caulfield has entered the pantheon of American literary heroes. Very few works of art have had the cultural and literary impact of Salinger’s novel. “The Catcher in the Rye was a symptom of a need, after a ghastly war and during a ghastly pseudo-peace, for the young to raise a voice of protest against the failures of the adult world. The young used many voices--anger, contempt, self-pity--but the quietest, that of a decent perplexed American adolescent, proved the most telling" (Anthony Burgess, 99 Novels, pp. 53-54). 


Good condition overall. Octavo. In the original publisher’s black cloth boards with gilt titles to the spine. The boards show slight wear to the edges, minor creasing to the spine, and some light spotting to the edges. In the original publisher’s first issue dust jacket. Dust jacket has minor separation along the front flap panel fold, some toning, minimal soiling, and chipping with loss to "th" in "the" and touching the "E" in "CATCHER" on the spine. The dust jacket is not price-clipped. Interior pages are mostly healthy, save light toning. Book has a previous owner’s inscription “Harry Weber,” signed in October 1958. Book dimensions: 8" H x 5 5/8" W x 1 5/16" D. Clamshell: 9 1/4" H x 6 5/8" W x 1 7/8" D

Book is presented in a new, custom archival clamshell case. The case is 1/4 red leather and yellow cloth with raised bands, gilt tooling, and gilt titles to the spine, and an inlaid image of the dust jacket illustration on the front. 

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