Hemingway, Ernest: Islands in the Stream
(researched by Jessica Myer)

Assignment 1: Bibliographical Description

1 First edition publication information (publisher, place, date, etc.)

First edition published by Charles Scribner's Sons in New York on October 6, 1970 at $10.00 a copy. 75,000 copies were printed.

2 First edition published in cloth, paper, or both? If both, simultaneous or staggered?

First edition published in green cloth stamped in gold on front cover and back strip. The author's signature is stamped in gold in a blind-stamped oblong box [front cover]. There is also a green paper dust jacket that is printed in black with a map and the title and author's names are on the front in yellow and white.

3 JPEG image of cover art from first edition, if available

4 Pagination

466 pages.

5 Edited or Introduced? If so, by whom?

Mary Hemingway introduced this book. She and Charles Scribner, Jr. worked together in preparing it for publication from Ernest's original manuscript 9 years after his death. In a note to the reader she explains that they made no additions to the manuscript and any changes that were made were done with the feeling that Ernest would have made the same changes. Such changes were correcting spelling and punctuation errors as well as making some cuts in the manuscript.

6 Illustrated? If so, by whom?

There are yellow end papers that are printed in green with a map of Cuba and the Bimini Islands by Samuel H. Bryant. The green dust jacket which is printed in black with a U.S. coast and Geodetic survey map of the Gulf Stream currents was done by Paul Bacon.

7 JPEG image of sample illustration, if available

8 General physical appearance of book (Is the physical presentation of the text attractive? Is the typography readable? Is the book well printed?)

The physical presentation of the book is attractive and readable. The cloth is stamped in gold and black. The typography is very readable.

9 JPEG image of sample chapter page, if available

10 Paper (Assess the original quality of the paper used for the book. Is the paper in the copy or copies you examined holding up physically over time?)

The paper is most likely machine-pressed so it is difficult to decide what the original quality of the paper was. The paper in both of the copies I examined is in good shape.

11 Description of binding(s)

The binding of the book reads downward in 2 lines ISLANDS IN THE STREAM (in gold blind-stamped oblong box) and then in gold on a black oblong box is 'Ernest Hemingway' and in gold is 'Scribners.' All the edges are trimmed. The binding is in good solid condition in both copies I examined.

12 Transcription of title page

The title page reads: Islands/in the/Stream/Ernest Hemingway/New York/Charles Scribner's Sons

13 JPEG image of title page, if available

14 Manuscript Holdings

The uncorrected proof is spiral bound and is priced at $900.00 by the riverrun rarebook room. I was unable to discover whether or not this means that it is the original manuscript, but I believe that it is.

15 Other (typograpical information from title page, etc.)

This book was on the best seller list of the New York Times Book Review for 24 weeks (October 18 - March 28, 1970). A list of Hemingway's books is printed in black and green on the reverse side of the dust jacket.

Assignment 2: Publication and Performance History

1 Did the original publisher issue the book in more than one edition? If so, briefly describe distinguishing features of each (illustrations, cover art, typography, etc.); if not, enter N/A


2 JPEG image of cover art from one subsequent edition, if available

3 JPEG image of sample illustration from one subsequent edition, if available

4 How many printings or impressions of the first edition?


5 Editions from other publishers? If so, list their dates and publishers; if not, enter N/A

Simon Schuster 1970 Collins (London)-- I have not found the date for this yet but it was the first UK edition Simon Schuster Trade 1997 Bantam Books, Incorporated 1984 South Asia Books 1980 Macmillan Library Reference 1976 and 1980

6 Last date in print?

I believe that it was Simon Schuster Trade in 1997.

7 Total copies sold? (source and date of information?)

This information has not yet been obtained--I'm working on it!

8 Sales figures by year? (source and date of information?)

9 Advertising copy (transcribe significant excerpts, briefly identify where ads were placed)

10 JPEG image of sample advertisement, if available

11 Other promotion

12 Performances in other media? If so, list media, date, title, production information; if not, enter N/A

There was a movie made in 1977 which was 105 minutes long. It was directed by F
ranklin J. Schaffner. It was a Drama and it was rated PG.

13 Translations? If translated, give standard bibliographic information for each translation. If none, enter N/A

N/A (as yet) I am working on this one as well!

14 Serialization? If serialized, give standard bibliographic information for serial publication. If none, enter N/A

N/A ( as yet) I am working on this also!

15 Sequels/Prequels? Give standard bibliographic information for each. If none, enter N/A

There were no prequels or sequels to this book.

Assignment 3: Biographical Sketch of the Author

1 Paste your biographical sketch here (maximum 500 words)

Ernest Miller Hemingway was born on July 21, 1899 in Oak Park Illinois. His father, Clarence was a general practitioner and his mother was a music teacher. In 1917 Hemingway graduated from Oak Park High School
and began working as a reporter for the Kansas City STAR. A year later he decided to quit the STAR and volunteered as a Red Cross ambulance driver in Italy, but he was woundedby the explosion of a trench mortar shell. While he was recuperating from his wo
unds in Milan, he met and fell in love with Agnes von Kurowsky, an American Red Cross nurse. This relationship was the first of several for Hemingway. In 1919 he returned to America and his relationship with Agnes was terminated. He moved to Chicago and w
orked as a journalist there until he nmet and married Hadley Richardson and the couple moved to Paris. In Paris he learned from and made friends with writers such as Gerrtrude Stein, Ezra POund, Ford Madox Ford, and James Joyce. Hemingway began to write p
oems and short stories while in Paris and in 1923 he published his first book THREE STORIES AND TEN POEMS. That year he and his wife had their first and only child together--a little boy who they nicknamed "Bumby." Two years later, however, Hemingway met
Pauline Pfeiffer and fell in love with her. In 1925 and 1926 Hemingway published THE TORRENTYS OF SPRING and THE SUN ALSO RISES which were both successful. Hemingway and Hadley divorced then and he married Pauline a year later in May of 1927. Pauline bec
ame pregnant and the couple went to Key West to live and in 1928 his father committed suicide. Hemingway and his wife pauline lived in Key WEst and he published FAREWELL TO ARMS which sold nearly 80,000 copies and did extremely well. The book was made int
o a movie in 1930 and Hemingway slowed down his writing to mostly short stories. He went to Africa for a while and was inspired to write THE GREEN HILLS OF AFRICA, but the book was not very successful when it was published in 1935. In 1936 the Spanish Civ
il War began and Hemingway contributed money to the Loyalists for ambulances and that same year he met a novelist named Martha Gellhorn who he fell in love with. He and Pauline got divorced only after he had moved to Cuba with Martha. Martha was a social
documentarian as well as a novelist, so they traveled extensivelt together. In 1940 Hemingway published FOR WHOM THE BELL TOLLS and was nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 1941, but did not get it. In 1944 Hemingway met Mary Welsh and began having an affa
ir with her. The two lovers were married in 1946 and this would be Hemingway's final relationship. In 1951 THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA was finished and which received the Pulitzer in 1953. Things in Hemingway's life were getting difficult--close friends we
re dying and his mother died as well. He did not write or publish anything for severl years and fell into a deep depression. He and his wife Mary moved to Ketchum, Idaho in 1959, and in 1960 Mary checked him into the Mayo Clinic for physical and psychiatr
ic care, including electroshock therapy for his depression. He left the clinic in January of 1961, but when he was home he attempted suicide several times so Mary took him back to the clinic. On June 26 of 1961 Hemingway convinced his doctors that he was
fully recovered and they sent him back to Ketchum. A few days later, however, Hemingway committed suicide in his home. Nearly ten years after his death ISLANDS IN THE STREAM was published by Scribner's Sons with the help of his waife Mary.

Assignment 4: Reception History

1 Paste contemporary reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

There were very mixed feelings concerning the publication of Hemingway's ISLANDS IN THE STREAM immediately after it was published. I read through several responses which were printed between 1970 (the year the b
ook was published) and 1974. After the date of 1974 I was unable to discover any other printed reviews of the novel. After reading numerous responses, however, I believe that the reason for this is that many people did not find the book to be nearly as
impressive as the other Hemingway novels that preceded it. Many responses were printed in the "New Yorker," the "Yale Review," and the "Encounter." Many responses had the air of being much like C.W. Mann's response in the September 1st issue of Library
J. Mann felt that the book had "some flaws" and that the three parts were not "perfectly wed" among other minor complaints, but overall he believed that the book was "impressive" even if it isn't the "masterpiece [everyone] would have wanted." The nove
l was rerceived by Mann and by several other reviewers to be wonderful because of the man who wrote it and I take from responses such as this one that part of the reason the book was an instant best seller was because of the prestige that Hemingway's pre
vious works created. Hemingway had been dead for nine years by the time this novel was published, and the novel was never completely finished by him, which wound up creating much suspicion from his readers while at the same time many people who had read
Hemingway's earlier works were very excited to read another "new" book of his. John Updike, in October of 1970 in the "New Statesman" wrote that the novel should not be "held against [Hemingway]" because it contained material that Hemingway did not "see
fit to publish" during his lifetime. Updike did not like the way that the novel was published and felt that Mary Hemingway, who helped in publishing the novel, created a "gallant wreck of a novel" which served to portray itself as what Ernest Hemingway
would have done himself. Like Updike, numerous other readers felt that the novel should not discredit Hemingway because he never would have made the editorial choices that were made and also beacuse he probably never wanted this novel to be published or
even finished. The fact that most of the responses were made in the year of the books publication shows that the novel did not remain a craze for much longer after it's first publication. I only found three other responses that were made in 1971, in th
e "Yale Review," the "Hudson Review," and the "Encounter." I found one response from 1973 in the "South Review." All of the other responses that I read were done in 1970 in various magazines. The feelings about the novel as far as it being a best seller
range from a wonderful book altogether (an example would be Robie MacAuley's response in the "New York Times Book Review" in which he describes the novel as being a "complete, well-rounded novel") to mixed feelings that are swayed in the positive direct
ion because of the man who wrote the novel, to complete thrashing of the novel since it does not live up to his earlier works and it was not even completed at the time of Hemingway's tormented tragic suicide. In order to see where I looked for my resourc
es, please check my bibliography.

2 Paste subsequent reception history in here (maximum 500 words)

I have been unable to find any responses to this novel that were written five years after its publication. I believe that this is due to the fact that many readers do not feel this book is comparable to Hemingway's
other earlier works, and that most of the responses were written closer to the time of its publication because people were curious about what the book would be like since the novel was highly anticipated by people who had read and fallen in love with Hemi
ngway's writings in the past.

Assignment 5: Critical Analysis

1 Paste your critical analysis in here (maximum 2500 words)

Islands in the Stream, by Ernest Hemingway, gained immediate popularity when it was published in 1970. According to its reviewers, the book does not owe very much of its popularity to the way that it was written or to it having a great story. Hemingway wrote the novel several years before he committed suicide, but he never fully finished it. Hemingway placed the uncompleted novel in his vault and never looked at it again, but his wife and close friends knew of its existence and felt they should put "finishing touches" on it and have it published. Nine years after Hemingway's death the novel came into print and many people were very anxious to get their hands on it. Its publication was a triumph for those who were obsessed with Hemingway because it was Hemingway's last novel and it had been so many years since anyone had the chance to read any "new" Hemingway. Nine years after Hemingway's death, in 1970, his wife Mary and his official biographer Carlos Baker, decided to put the book into publication. Written mostly in 1951, ten years before the author shot himself, the book was a mystery to all of his avid readers (who were many) and many anxiously awaited its publication which greatly contributed to its enormous popularity. When Hemingway was alive he had a huge fan-club of readers and at the time of the publication of Islands in the Stream, this fan-club was aching for more of Hemingway's fiction. Ernest Hemingway had an incredible reputation as a novelist in American society throughout his career. He was affectionately known as "Papa," the father of American novelists. During the last twenty years of his life, Hemingway's celebrity most closely resembled that of a movie star and this created the same effect nine years after his death that watching an old movie with Gary Cooper would have created--Islands in the Stream allowed all of the Hemingway fans to return to their hero and favorite writer Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway practically invented the role of novelist as celebrity. He was so well known by the American public as well as internationally. The reputation of Hemingway truly created the novel's popularity more than anything else. The novelist is the novel's hero and at the time those who chose to rush out and get the book were doing so only to satisfy their longing for Hemingway. Hemingway was a highly stylized writer, so his readers didn't expect surprises but instead would look for the old solid performance and anticipate the same "marvelous moves" that first drew them to Hemingway so many years before Islands in the Stream was published. This book truly served these purposes for Hemingway's readers--it was a return to their hero who had so tragically died nearly ten years earlier. Ernest Hemingway's death by suicide nine years before the novel was published also effected the book's popularity in many ways. It has been said that it is impossible to read the novel without thinking of the author's suicide because so much of the book is about suicide. Hemingway's family did not want to make it publicly known that he had committed suicide because that fact greatly threatened his popularity. It threatened to demolish his work for many of his avid readers because they looked to Hemingway as being the man whose favorite motto was "il faut d'abord durer" ( "first of all, endure") --a writer who in so many novels and stories had stressed physical courage as his crowning virtue. The fact that Hemingway himself gave up and shot himself in the head made it appear to his readers that he did not believe in what he professed in his works and this seemed to be a let-down for his fans. This most likely had an effect on the strength of his last novel, which was written during a period of the author's life that was quite depressing and difficult. The qualities of the book that were praised by critics were few and far between. Most critics felt the book was very poorly written and that it was more "therapy" for its author than a great fictional story. The book's plot focuses on a man, Thomas Hudson, who has an uncanny resemblance to Hemingway himself. At the time that Hemingway was writing this book he was very depressed and contemplating suicide which he committed ten years later. Some critics say that parts of the novel were well-written, but for the most part they criticize the books sloppy organization and long drawn-out sections where relatively nothing happens at all. The fact that Islands in the Stream depicts the most depressing part of Hemingway's life contributes to why critics and other readers felt that the book was more of a disguised autobiography than a work of magnificent fiction--but people were definitely very interested in learning what was going on in the head of this famous author and the book was popular because of that instead of being known as a great work of fiction. Despite the sentiments and opinions that the book was poorly written, the popularity of the book still sky-rocketed when it was published. This can be attributed to the other factors surrounding the book's publication, like his popularity and the circumstances of his death that I have already mentioned. Some other factors influencing the popularity of the book include when the book was published. Shortly before Islands in the Stream was published, Carlos baker wrote a biography on Hemingway and mentioned the existence of the novel. This biography raised every one of Hemingway's readers' interests and when the book came out they were anxious to read it. Long excerpts of the novel's most exciting sections were published in magazines just before the entire novel was published, so that heightened its popularity when it his the bookstores. The final version of the novel was published in October of 1970 and sold 100,000 copies in the first three months and remained on the best-seller list for a little over a year. Considering the fact that most critics had nothing good to say about the content of the novel except that it was important to those who loved and missed Hemingway, this popularity was strangely acquired. The book did not remain popular for as long as one might expect coming from such a greatly known American author. There are several factors influencing this as well. Immediately after its publication the critics in major magazines were sharing their opinions that the novel was not well written. Hemingway himself was not sure if the book should be published or not. The critics who attacked the novel did not with the understanding that it was not the author's decision to have the book published, but at the same time not one critic hesitated in making it known that the novel was no literary accomplishment. When compared to Hemingway's other, more successful, works, Islands in the Stream was almost nothing at all as far as a masterpiece. Some of the author's other novels, such as Old Man and the Sea and A Farewell to Arms are still read and taught by many in schools all over the country, but Islands in the Stream never did achieve such recognition. The reason this book got the attention that it did was because of the man who wrote it and because he had been dead for nearly ten years and all of America was anxious to hear his last story.

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