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.

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


Notes about this edition: Julian Barnes.  До того, как она встретила меня (Do togo, kak ona vstretila menja) | Before She Met Me. Москва: АСТ: Транзиткнига, 2005. Pp. 252 [253] + [3]. 20.6 x 13.6 cm. Translated by И. Гуровой [I. Gurova]. ISBN: 5170289189. (Russian).

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.

Several errant dust jackets were produced that were slightly darker in tone. Some of these jackets were distributed with review copies, but the rest were pulped in favor of the corrected jacket. The darker toned jacket is featured below next to the corrected jacket to emphasize the tone differences.


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 cloth 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.

Metroland (Jonathan Cape, 1980)


Notes on this edition: This entry features the first edition hardback of Julian Barnes’s first published novel Metroland, which won the Somerset Maugham Award in 1981. After winning the award, some copies of the first edition were issued with a red wrap-around band announcing the distinction.


Descriptive Bibliography: First edition – London: Jonathan Cape, 1980. £4.95. Print run: 3000.

Title Page: METROLAND | Julian Barnes | [Jonathan Cape device] | JONATHAN CAPE | THIRTY BEDFORD SQUARE LONDON

Copyright Page: First published 1980 | Copyright © by Julian Barnes 1980 | Jonathan Cape Ltd, 30 Bedford Square, London WC1 | British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data | Barnes, Julian | Metroland. | I. Title | 823’.9’1F PR6052.A66/ | ISBN 0-224-01762-4 | Printed in Great Britain by The Anchor Press Ltd | and bound by Wm Brendon & Son Ltd | both of Tiptree, Essex

Collation: 19.7 x 13 cm. Pp. [1-10] 11-72 [73-74] 75-130 [131-132] 133-176. [1]: ‘METROLAND’. [2]: blank. [3]: title page. [4]: copyright page. [5]: ‘To Laurien’. [6]: blank. [7-8]: [contents]. [9]: ‘PART ONE | Metroland (1963) | A noir, E blanc, I rouge, U vert, O bleu | Rimbaud’. [10]: blank. 11-72: text. [73]: ‘PART TWO | Paris (1968) | Moi qui ai connu Rimbaud, je sais | qu’il se foutait pas mal si A | était rouge ou vert. Il le voyait | comme ça, mais c’est tout. | Verlaine to Pierre Louÿs’. [74]: blank. 75-130: text. [131]: ‘PART THREE | Metroland II (1977) | Things and actions are what they are, and the | consequences of them will be what they will be; | why then should we desire to be deceived? | Bishop Butler’. [132]: blank. 133-176: text.

General description: Binding 20.5 x 13.5 cm. Blue-grey boards, silver blocked on spine. Grey end-papers. Black dust jacket lettered in silver (title) and white (author), with a photograph of the author by Jerry Bauer on lower panel.


Rogue Binding: The specimen below appears to be a rebound first edition of Julian Barnes’s Metroland. While the markings are minimal, evidence suggests the copy was previously part of a library and was at some point rebound. The poor quality of the tooling and application of the title to the spine suggests the binder used mass market materials or possibly a kit. The book is inscribed by Barnes, though whether the signature was acquired prior to the rebinding effort or not is unclear.