"THE CLENCHED FIST OF REPUBLICAN SPAIN": VERY RARE FIRST ISSUE OF HEMINGWAY'S SPANISH EARTH, ONE OF FEWER THAN 100 COPIES
HEMINGWAY, Ernest. The Spanish Earth. With an Introduction by Jasper Wood. Illustrations by Frederick K. Russell. Cleveland: J. B. Savage, 1938. Slim octavo, original tan cloth printed in black and orange, pictorial endpapers. Remnants of original glassine. $3800.
Limited first edition, number 97 of 1000 copies—one of fewer than 100 first-issue copies released with pictorial endpapers.
Jasper Wood was a 17-year-old student at Cleveland Heights High School when he acquired the rights to publish 1,000 copies of Hemingway's commentary for The Spanish Earth, the classic 1937 Joris Ivens film depicting the horrors of the Spanish Civil War. Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Lillian Hellman, Archibald MacLeish, Dorothy Parker and other literary figures had created a company, Contemporary Historians, Inc., to fund the film to raise money for the Loyalist (Republican) cause in the war. Upon seeing the first issue of the book from the press, Hemingway wired Wood objecting to Wood's introduction because it gave him credit for the film which he felt belonged to Ivens and photographer John Ferno. He also objected to the large banner of the anarchist group F.A.I. (Federación Anarquista Iberica) on the endpapers. A second issue was then bound with plain tan endpapers with a printed statement from Wood on the rear pastedown referring to Hemingway's objections, and noting: "Hemingway insisted that his share of the profits for this text be paid directly to Almuth Heulbrun, the widow of Dr. Werner Heilbrun, who was killed in action in Spain." The book also contains Hemingway's essay "The Heat and The Cold," which had appeared in the Spring 1938 issue of Verve. This is the scarce first issue, with the pictorial endpapers showing the F.A.I. banner flying over the heads of advancing soldiers. "In a letter to the bibliographer, Jasper Wood estimated that there were between 50 and 100 copies of the first issue" (Hanneman A15a).
Fragments of original glassine present. A fine copy.