All Quiet On The Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque 1st / 1st 1929
London: William Heinemann Ltd (1929)The First UK printing. It is in near Fine condition. Light pushing at the spine tips and the slightest toning to the spine. Light offsetting to the endpapers with Hansard Watt’s attractive bookplate (designed by the engraver Martin Hardie) to the front pastedown. A hint of toning to the text-block and page edges. Free from inscriptions. The dark green top-stain is present but slightly faded. The wrapper is complete.
It is the correct first issue with price ‘7s. 6s. net’ to the lower front flap and the correct reviews to the front flap and rear panel. Mild edge-wear at the corners and spine ends. Some rubbing and creasing at the upper spine end with two small closed tears to the upper spine folds. Just a hint of toning to the spine. Loosely inserted is the publisher’s promotional flyer for this title. The flyer is in fine condition. Housed in a custom green solander box with gilt lettering.
The book describes the German soldiers’ extreme physical and mental stress during the war, and the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the front. Remarque comments in the preface that “[This book] will try simply to tell of a generation of men who, even though they may have escaped its shells, were destroyed by the war.”
This internal destruction can be found as early as the first chapter as Paul comments that, although all the boys are young, their youth has left them. In addition, the massive loss of life and negligible gains from the fighting are constantly emphasized. Soldiers’ lives are thrown away by their commanding officers who are stationed comfortably away from the front, ignorant of the daily terrors of the front line.
A very sharp copy of the author’s landmark novel based on his experience in WW1. Increasingly scarce as the correct first issue and in such condition.