The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, First Blakiston Edition, 1943

Rand, Ayn. The Fountainhead. Philadelphia: The Blakiston Company, 1943. Early wartime edition. In its original dust jacket and hardcover, burgundy cloth boards with gilt titles to front and spine. Presented with new archival ¼ leather and cloth clamshell.

Presented is an early 1943 edition of Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. This book was published in Philadelphia by The Blakiston Company. It is a rare and early wartime edition with matching first edition printing errors, as sublicensed by the original publisher The Bobbs-Merrill Company. Bobbs-Merrill worked with The Blakiston Company due to wartime paper shortages. During WWII, publishers were subject to government-issued paper rationing and Blakiston had paper to spare. This Blakiston Company printing uses the original Bobbs-Merrill first edition design. As such, the book is presented in its original dust jacket and hardcover burgundy cloth boards.

The Fountainhead is Ayn Rand's best-selling and unforgettable celebration of the individual spirit. From 1935-1943, Rand worked as a secretary in an architectural firm, during which time she wrote The Fountainhead, her first Objectivist novel and her first bestseller. The book follows the protagonist Howard Roark, a young architect struggling to stay true to his own vision against more conventional and mainstream ideas.  As the original dust jacket explained, "This book is based on a challenging belief in the importance of selfishness, on the provocative idea that man's ego is the fountainhead of human progress."

Initially rejected by twelve publishers, and firing one over publicity plans, Rand finally found a publisher in Bobbs-Merrill. She released The Fountainhead in 1943. Just 7500 copies were initially printed. Despite harsh criticism, the book gradually found its audience and became one of the high spots of American literature. Rand later would also write the screenplay for the film version of the novel, released in 1949 and starring Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal.


Very good condition overall. Octavo, in original dust jacket, now covered in protective Mylar and stabilized with brodart. Dust jacket colors are very vibrant, with only minimal wear and bumping to spine. Original hardcover burgundy boards with gilt titles to front board and spine. Internal pages are very clean and in great condition. Previous owner’s inscription in blue pen as well as Personal Bookshop logo found on back paste-down end page. Inscription reads:  “‘May’/ July 16, 1945.”

4 Points of Issue: Errata 1: Page 9 listed as Page o; Page 321, L.5 "referred"; Page 381, L4 "G. W."; Page 480, L2 "Domininque". The Blakiston Company, Philadelphia publishing line listed on the full title page. Copyright to The Bobbs-Merrill Company, 1943, as printed on the copyright page. 

Presented with a new archival matching clamshell case. Clamshell case is 1/4 red leather and brown cloth with gilt titles, gilt stamps, and raised bands to spine. Inlaid dust jacket image on front of case. Rand's gilt embossed facsimile signature to inside of case.

Dimensions: Book: 8 3/4" H x 6" W x 1 1/2" D. Clamshell: 9 9/16" H x 7" W x 2 1/2" D.


Related Items