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.

The Library Book (Profile Books, 2012)


Notes about this edition: As part of the austerity policies sweeping through England, library cuts and closures became all too common an occurrence. In 2012, The Library Book was published in support of The Reading Agency’s efforts to promote libraries and reading.

In addition to Julian Barnes, several other authors contributed pieces to the book, including Zadie Smith, Alan Bennettt, Stephen Fry, James Brown, Anita Anand, Hardeep Singh Kohli, Luch Mangan, Seth Godin, Val McDermid, Lionel Shriver, Bella Bathurst, China Miéville, Caitlin Moran, Tom Holland, Susan Hill, Michael Brooks, Bali Rai, Ann Cleeves, Julie Myerson, Nicky Wire, Kate Mosse, Karin Slaughter, and Miranda McKerney.

Barnes’s contribution “The Defence of the Book” (pp. 9-13) claims to be “From a proposed second edition of England, England“, and it outlines the collapse of libraries and reading in England after Sir Jack Pitman’s theme park has brought forth the economic decline of ‘Old England’. Barnes published his piece of short fiction in The Guardian during National Libraries Day in February 2012.

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].

Flaubert & Louise Prospectus (Charles Hobson, 1988)


Notes on this edition: In 1988, artist Charles Hobson created an limited edition artists’ book titled Flaubert & Louise: Letters & Impressions. The contents of the book include letters written by Gustave Flaubert to his lover Louise Colet. Also included are excerpts from Julian Barnes’s novel Flaubert’s Parrot in which he fictionalized Colet’s voice in a chapter titled, “Louise Colet’s Version”. Hobson merges Flaubert’s real letters with Barnes’s fictional text to create a sense of an exchange between the couple.

The item presented in the photos is a prospectus for the artists’ book prepared at the time of the publication of the work in 1988.

A copy of the original artists’ book currently sells for $3,000 on Hobson’s website. Chronicle Books also issued a spiral bound book by Hobson titled Paris Encounters that contains a section devoted to his artistic creation Flaubert & Louise. Charles Hobson writes about his creative process for this work in an exhibition catalog in 2002: http://www.charleshobson.com/Hobson_Catalog.pdf