Red Harvest. New York: Knopf, 1929
In 8s (7 1/2 x 5 1/8 in.; 190 x 130 mm). Title-page printed in orange and black with a skull and crossbones vignette in orange. Publisher's red cloth stamped in black and yellow; some minor wear and soiling. Dust jacket; some light soiling, some chipping and wear at upper margins of spine and lower cover, backstrip separated.
First edition of Hammett's first book, in the rare dust jacket.
The four parts of Red Harvest first appeared monthly in Black Mask from November 1927 to February 1928. At the time, the novel was simply called Poisonville by Hammett. After extensive revisions by the author, suggested by Blanche Knopf and the editor Harry Block, the first real "hard-boiled" detective novel was published on 1 February 1929. Hammett dedicated the book to Joseph Shaw, the editor of Black Mask and the person who had most encouraged him to write a novel. Although well received, Red Harvest was hardly a best-seller: "the first printing (probably about 3,000 copies) lasted for all of 1929; a second printing came in March 1930, a month before The Maltese Falcon was published; and a third printing in March 1931, just before publication of The Glass Key" (Richard Layman, Shadow Man: The Life of Dashiell Hammett, p. 93). By the time Red Harvest was published, Hammett was already well into the writing of his third novel, The Maltese Falcon—the huge success which established his reputation.
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