The Searchers: A Novel by Alan Le May, First British Edition, 1955

Le May, Alan. The Searchers: A Novel. London: Collins, 1955. First British edition. Octavo. In the publisher's blue hardboards and original uncliped pictorial dust jacket. With new archival cloth slipcase.

This is a first British edition printing of The Searchers: A Novel by Alan Le May. The book was published in 1955 by Collins in London. The book is presented in its original publisher’s dark blue hardback boards and unclipped pictorial dust jacket. The book has a new archival cloth slipcase, with an inlaid image of thr dust jacket design on front. 

The Searchers is an exciting western novel that is loosely based on the story of Cynthia Ann Parker, who was abducted by Comanches in Texas in 1836. Le May’s novel is set later in time, after the Civil War, and follows the efforts of Amos Edwards and his adopted nephew, Martin Pauley, to find 10 year-old Debbie Edwards, who was abducted by Comanche in a murder raid that left the remainder of her family dead. The book is an exciting tale of rescue and reconciliation, and is celebrated for Le May’s written description of the beauty, vastness, and loneliness found on the Plains. 

A year after the book’s publication, The Searchers was adapted into a movie directed by John Ford, starring John Wayne, Jeffrey Hunter, and Natalie Wood. The movie premiered in 1956. 

Alan Le May (1899- 1964) was an American novelist and screenplay writer. Le May was born in Indianapolis, in 899. He attended Stetson University in Florida and the University of Chicago, from which he graduated in 1922.  He began writing fiction during the ’20s, generating a novel each year for more than a decade. He soon went into ranching in California, but the economic upheavals of the ’30s  and bankruptcy forced a return to his literary career. In 1940 Le May started working at Paramount Studios as a specialist in adventure stories. He wrote or co-wrote the screenplays for North West Mounted Police, Reap the Wild Wind, and Blackbeard the Pirate. He wrote the original source novel for Along Came Jones, as well as a score of other screenplays, including High Lonesome which he wrote and directed. 

With over 11 novels, 5 short story collections, over 75 uncollected short stories, and 19 screenplays, he is most remembered for two classic Western novels, The Searchers and The Unforgiven. They were both adapted into the motion pictures of the same titles.


Very good condition. Octavo. In the publisher's original dark blue cloth hardback boards, with gilt titles. Original unclipped pictorial dust jacket (12s. 6d. net). Light foxing to endpapers and flaps of the dust jacket. A few tiny chips to dust jacket edges. Interior pages are clean, with no markings or inscriptions. 256pp. Presented with a new archival cloth slipcase, with the dust jacket illustration inlaid on the front.

Slipcase dimensions: 8 1/2" H x 5 7/8" W x 1 1/2" D; Book dimensions: 8 1/4" H x 5 3/4" W x 3/4" D.

Related Items


Exclusive deals, new arrivals, and more. Sign up for our emails and get in on all the action!