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.

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

Notes about this edition: Julian Barnes. Flaubert’s Parrot Talking It Over. London: Quality Paperbacks Direct, 2000. Pp. 498. 19.7 x 12.6 cm.

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.

Metroland (McGraw-Hill, 1987)

Notes on this edition: Julian Barnes. Metroland. New York: McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1987. Pp. 176. 17 x 10.2 cm ISBN: 0070037469.

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: Julian Barnes. Metroland. London: Jonathan Cape, 1980. Pp. 176. 19.8 x 13 cm.

Uncorrected Proof of the first U.K. edition published by Jonathan Cape. Published in red wraps with black lettering.

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 | Uncorrected Proof (Alfred A. Knopf, 1985)

Notes on this edition: Julian Barnes. Flaubert’s Parrot. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1985. Pp. 190 + [2]. 21 x 13.5 cm.

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.

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: Letters & Impressions (Charles Hobson, 1988; Prospectus)

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. 21.5 x 14 cm.

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:


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

Notes on this edition: Julian Barnes. Love, etc. Random House Canada, 2000. 28 x 23 cm. [8.5 x 11 in.].

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”