Before She Met Me (McGraw-Hill, 1986)


Notes about this Edition: Julian Barnes’s second literary novel was not published in the U.S. until 1986, making the McGraw-Hill paperback the first American edition. Following the critical success of Julian Barnes’s novel Flaubert’s Parrot, McGraw-Hill published a series of paperbacks to promote his backlist. After releasing Flaubert’s Parrot in paperback (1985), McGraw-Hill issued Barnes’s second novel Before She Met Me (1986), followed by Metroland (1987).

Descriptive Bibliography: First American edition – New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1986. $4.95.

Title Page: Julian Barnes | Before She Met Me | McGRAW-HILL BOOK COMPANY | New York St. Louis San Francisco Bogotá Guatamala | Hamburg Lisbon Madrid Mexico Montreal Panama | Paris San Juan São Paulo Tokyo

Copyright Page: Copyright © 1982 by Julian Barnes | All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America. Except as | permitted under the Copyright Act of 1976, no part of this publication may | be reproduced or distributed in any form or by any means, or stored in a | data base or retrieval system, without the prior written permission of the | publisher. | First McGraw-Hill Paperback edition, 1986 | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A G R A G R 8 7 6 | ISBN 0-07-003747-7 | LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA | Barnes, Julian. | Before she met me. | I. Title | PR6052.A6657B4 1986 823’.914 86-10627 | ISBN 0-07-003747-7 (pbk.)

Collation: 17.1 x 10.5 cm. Pp. [1-8] 9-174 [175-176]. [1]: ‘Before She Met Me | Julian Barnes was born in Leicester in 1946 and was educated | in London and Oxford. He was deputy literary editor of the | Sunday Times and is currently television critic of the Observer.’. [2]: blank. [3]: title page. [4]: copyright page. [5]: epigraph. [6]: ‘To Pat’. [7]: [contents]. [8]: blank. 9-174: text. [175]: blank. [176]: ‘Catalog | If you are interested in a list of fine Paperback | books, covering a wide range of subjects | and interests, send your name and address, | requesting your free catalog, to: | McGraw-Hill Paperbacks | 1221 Avenue of Americas | New York, N.Y. 10020’.

General description: Binding 17.1 x 10.5 cm. Paperbound in black. Lettered in white (title) and lavendar (author). No author photograph. No hardback edition was published in the U.S., which makes this paperback release the first true American edition.

Before She Met Me (Jonathan Cape, 1982)


Notes on this edition: Jonathan Cape published Julian Barnes’s second literary novel in 1982. The first edition originally sold for £6.50, but later first edition copies were price clipped and increased (e.g. “J. Cape” price tag of £9.95).

Descriptive Bibliography:

First edition – London: Jonathan Cape, 1982. £6.50. Print run: 3000.

Title Page: BEFORE SHE MET ME | Julian Barnes | [Jonathan Cape device] | JONATHAN CAPE | THIRTY BEDFORD SQUARE LONDON

Copyright Page: First published 1982 | Copyright © 1982 by Julian Barnes | Jonathan Cape Ltd, 30 Bedford Square, London WC1 | British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data | Barnes, Julian | Before she met me. | I. Title | 823’.914 [F] PR6052.A6657 | ISBN 0-224-01985-6 | Typeset by Gloucester Typesetting Services | Printed in Great Britain by | St Edmundsbury Press, Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk

Collation: 19.8 x 12.7 cm. Pp. [i-iv] [1-10] 11-183 [184-188]. [i]: pasted to board. [ii-iv]: blank. [1]: ‘BEFORE SHE MET ME’. [2]: ‘by the same author | METROLAND’. [3]: title page. [4]: copyright page. [5]: ‘To Pat’. [6]: blank. [7]: epigraph. [8]: blank [9]: [contents]. [10]: blank. 11-183: text. [184-187]: blank. [188]: pasted to board.

General description: Binding 20.5 x 13.8 cm. Black boards, gold blocked on spine. No endpapers (outer leaves pasted down). Black dust jacket lettered in red (title) and white (author), with a photograph of the author by Jerry Bauer on back flap.

Staring at the Sun (Jonathan Cape, 1986)


Notes on this edition: Julian Barnes’s fourth literary novel Staring at the Sun examines the ordinary life of Jean Serjeant from her childhood in the 1920s through her adulthood to the 2020s.

Descriptive Bibliography: First edition: London: Jonathan Cape, 1986. £9.95. Print run: 8000.

Title Page: STARING | AT THE SUN | Julian Barnes | [Jonathan Cape device] | JONATHAN CAPE | THIRTY-TWO BEDFORD SQUARE LONDON

Copyright Page: First published 1986 | Copyright © 1986 by Julian Barnes | Jonathan Cape Ltd | 32 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EL | British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data | Barnes, Julian | Staring at the sun. | I. Title | 823’.914[F] PR6052.A6657 | ISBN 0 224 02414 0 | Typeset by Computape (Pickering) Ltd, North Yorkshire | Printed in Great Britain by | Ebenezer Baylis and Son Ltd | The Trinity Press, Worcester and London

Collation: 21.5 x 13.7 cm. Pp. [i-viii, 1-4] 5-63 [64-66] 67-135 [136-138] 139-195 [196-200]. [i-ii]: blank. [iii]: ‘STARING AT THE SUN’. [iv]: ‘by the same author | METROLAND | BEFORE SHE MET ME | FLAUBERT’S PARROT’. [v]: title page. [vi]: copyright page. [vii]: ‘to Pat’. [viii]: blank. 1-2: text. [3]: ‘ONE | You ask me what life is? It is like asking what a carrot | is. A carrot is a carrot, and nothing more is known. | Chekhov to Olga Knipper, 20 April 1904’. [4]: blank. 5-63: text. [64]: blank. [65]: ‘TWO | Three wise men – are you serious? | graffito, c.1984’. [66]: blank. 67-135: text. [136]: blank. [137]: ‘THREE | Immortality is no learned question | Kierkegaard’. [138]: blank. 139-195: text. [196-200]: blank.

General description: Binding 22.2 x 14 cm. Dark brown boards, gold blocked on spine. White endpapers. Brown dust jacket lettered in white on upper panel and orange and white on lower panel. Color illustration of the sun setting on an ocean by Cathy Wood. Author photograph by Allan Titmuss on back flap.

Flaubert’s Parrot | Talking It Over (QPD, 2000)


Notes about this edition: Quality Paperbacks Direct issued this “omnibus” edition of Julian Barnes’s novels Flaubert’s Parrot and Talking It Over in 2000, the same year Jonathan Cape released Love, etc, Barnes’s sequel to Talking It Over. The cover replicates artwork for Talking It Over, as the book likely sought to capitalize on the sequel’s release.

Barnes’s paperback rights were managed by Picador at the time of publication, as QPD notes on the copyright page. The book’s table of contents lists Flaubert’s Parrot as beginning on page ‘vii’ and Talking It Over on page 231.

Flaubert’s Parrot Talking It Over. London: Quality Paperbacks Direct, 2000. 498 pages.

До того, как она встретила меня | Before She Met Me (ACT, 2005; Russian)


Notes about this edition:  До того, как она встретила меня (Do togo, kak ona vstretila menja | Before She Met Me). Москва: АСТ: Транзиткнига, 2005; 252 pages). ISBN: 9785957820420 | Hardback

Metroland (McGraw-Hill, 1987)


Notes on this edition: Metroland. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1987. Pp. 176.

Following the critical success of Julian Barnes’s novel Flaubert’s Parrot, McGraw-Hill published a series of paperbacks to promote his backlist. After releasing Flaubert’s Parrot in paperback (1985), McGraw-Hill issued Barnes’s second novel Before She Met Me (1986), followed by Metroland (1987).

Pictured with the first edition paperback is a “library bound” (or “permabound”) copy discovered in a bookshop in St. Louis, Missouri. Libraries frequently used such services to bind together volumes of journals or magazines for long-term storage or to turn their paperback editions into longer-lasting hardbacks. This copy has no library markings, however, which is unusual, as it suggests a private collector paid for the binding or that it was a sample copy direct from the binder.

Metroland | Uncorrected Proof (Jonathan Cape, 1980)


Notes about this edition: Uncorrected Proof of the first U.K. edition published by Jonathan Cape. Published in red wraps with black lettering. (19.8 x 13 cm).

From Conversations with Julian Barnes (Univ Press of Mississippi, 2009):

Roberts: In the past you’ve mentioned, at least to me, that with Metroland you edited almost to the point of penalty on the proofs.

Barnes: I did, yes. I had to pay them some money. Not much, but a small punishment for being obsessional.

Flaubert’s Parrot (Jonathan Cape, 1984)


Notes on this Edition: Published by Jonathan Cape in 1984, Barnes’s third literary novel Flaubert’s Parrot was shortlisted for the Booker Prize and won the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. After being nominated for the Booker Prize, some copies of the first edition were issued with a red wrap-around band announcing the nomination.


Descriptive Bibliography: First edition – London: Jonathan Cape, 1984. £8.50. Print run: 3000.

Title Page: JULIAN BARNES | [double rule line] | Flaubert’s | Parrot | [Jonathan Cape device] | JONATHAN CAPE | THIRTY BEDFORD SQUARE LONDON

Copyright Page: First published 1984 | Copyright © by Julian Barnes 1984 | Jonathan Cape Ltd, 30 Bedford Square, London WC1B 3EL | British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data | Barnes, Julian | Flaubert’s Parrot. | I. Title | 823’.914[F]  PR6052.A6657 | ISBN 0-224-02222-9 | ‘Flaubert’s Parrot’ was first published | in the London Review of Books, | and ‘Emma Bovary’s Eyes’ first appeared, | in an edited form, in Granta. | Printed in Great Britain by | Ebenezer Baylis and Son Limited | The Trinity Press, Worcester and London

Collation: 21.5 x 13.7 cm. Pp. [1-10] 11-190 [191-192]. [1]: ‘Flaubert’s | Parrot’. [2]: ‘by the same author | METROLAND | BEFORE SHE MET ME’. [3]: title page. [4]: copyright page. [5]: ‘To Pat’. [6]: blank. [7]: epigraph. [8]: ‘Note | I am grateful to James Fenton and the Salamander Press for per- | mission to reprint the lines from ‘A German Requiem’ on page 115. | The translations in this book are by Geoffrey Braithwaite; though he | would have been lost without the impeccable example of Francis | Steegmuller. | J.B.’. [9]: [contents]. [10]: blank. 11-190: text. [191-192]: blank.

General description: Binding 22.2 x 14.5 cm. Green boards, gold blocked on spine. White endpapers. White dust jacket lettered in black. Cover image ‘Félicité Sleeping with Parrot’ by David Hockney. Photograph of the author on back flap. A small number of copies were issued in a first-state dust jacket with a misprinted color illustration.

Flaubert’s Parrot | Uncorrected Proof (Knopf, 1985)


Notes on this edition: Uncorrected Proof of the first U.S. edition of Julian Barnes’s novel Flaubert’s Parrot published by Alfred A. Knopf in 1985. Covered in green wraps with black lettering. (21 x 13.5 cm).

Presented here are two versions of the Knopf proof. The first copy was the top proof on the cart of text blocks upon which the cover color was written. The cover has the initials “P.C.” for “Press Copy” and the inside text block is marked “Press Copy Truck” with the cover color indicated as “Spring Green (114)”. This particular copy was acquired by the press operator prior to forwarding the remaining proof copies to the publisher for distribution to reviewers.

The second copy of this proof contains the provisional publication date of “March 8, 1985” with the “8” hand-written by the publisher. Stapled to the inside cover are two sheets of promotional material. This proof represents the typical state in which a copy would be forwarded to reviewers for consideration.

Also note that on one of the promotional sheets, the publisher corrected an error in which the main character of Flaubert’s Parrot, Geoffrey Braithwaite, was listed as “Charles Braithwaite”, suggesting a temporary blurring of the main male characters in Barnes’s novel and Gustave Flaubert’s Madame Bovary [i.e. Charles Bovary].

Love, etc. | Advanced Uncorrected Manuscript (Random House Canada, 2000)


Notes on this edition: Random House Canada produced this spiral bound copy of Love, etc. The cover is marked as an “Advanced Uncorrected Manuscript” of the novel, and the text is a copy of the author’s manuscript with his hand-marked revisions as submitted to the publisher. This copy is inscribed by Barnes: “Never seen this before! | from | Julian Barnes”