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Topic: How do you tell the publishing date...

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Subject: How do you tell the publishing date...
Date Posted: 9/4/2009 7:13 AM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,267
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...of a book that has no ISBN and absolutely no publishing info inside it? 

I ask because I just bought (for .50 cents!) a hardcover Wuthering Heights, published by Nelson Doubleday, Inc...that has no copyright info or any other info in it about the year it was published.  There is a "Note Concerning this Edition" in the front, that explains that it is a "reprint of Bronte's original text as it appeared in the first edition of the book (1847)".  The book has a green cloth cover with gold lettering down the spine.  I certainly don't think it's a hundred years old or anything, but I am curious when it might have been printed. 

Can anyone help me?  Many thanks!

Rick B. (bup) - ,
Date Posted: 9/4/2009 7:21 AM ET
Member Since: 11/2/2007
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Well, according to this page, I'd guess before 1927. Otherwise it would say Doubleday and Co. rather than Nelson Doubleday, Inc.

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 1:12 PM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
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Hm.  I did a google search on "Wuthering Heights" "nelson doubleday" reprint edition.  I got a lot of hits on various bookselling sites, and most say "no date information".  (BTW - most copies seem to be selling for under $10).  One seller has the date listed as 1969, but I have no idea where they got this information, so take it with a grain of salt (I think it's earlier).  I also found an article from Time Magazine, 1939 that mentioned Nelson Doubleday as still being in existance. It's possible Nelson Doubleday was an imprint within Doubleday.

So my final answer is:  it seems no one is sure.

ETA - this is so completely random, but I was just looking at my copy of 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and it was published by Nelson Doubleday (again no date) as a part of their Children's Classics series, but I know this book was printed in the 1950s, so possibly the 1969 date is correct.  Is there anything on the spine aside from the title?

edited because of date typo.



Last Edited on: 9/4/09 1:37 PM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 9/4/2009 5:20 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,267
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Thanks Bup and Caviglia for replying!

Caviglia, the only thing on the spine besides the title, the pulisher name and Emily Bronte's name, is some sort of "icon" in blue ink (as opposed to all the writing which is in gold).  It's small, about 1/2 inch tall, and maybe 3/4 inch wide across the spine.  I can't really tell what it is....it's a curlicue thingy with what looks like a small face and wings of some sort.  But it's not exactly a face and wings, you know?   Plus, there is nothing anywhere to indicate it's part of a Children's Classics series.

The editors, in the "A Note Concerning This Edition", seem to especially stress that this is an unabridged version:

"In 1850, two years aftter Emily's death, a second edition was issued under the supervision of her sister Charlotte.  Charlotte did considerable editing and made several hundred changes in spelling, punctuation, syntax and diction.  They were mostly minor changes; but taken cumulatively, it canot be denied that they represent a departure from the author's work...Since we believe most readers would prefer to have the novel as Emily Bronte wrote it, rather than a revision (no matter how lovingly made), we are presenting here the original 1847 version of Wuthering Heights.  No editing, abridgement, or simplifying has been done, except for a few corrections of obvious misprints which were more likely the work of her printer than of the author."

Well...anyway, I thank you both for trying to help me find an answer!!!  But drats, I just wish there was a way to really know.

 

Date Posted: 9/4/2009 11:25 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
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Caviglia, So how do you do this "google search?" I have probably several dozen books that were my grandmother's, Dated ones, about half, are from 1880s. Might be fun to check and see if any have monetary value, though I doubt it.

Date Posted: 9/5/2009 12:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/30/2009
Posts: 5,696
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Try bookfinder.com