Ernest Hemingway is one of the most influential writers of the 20th century, and A Farewell to Arms was one of his most successful novels. It has been adapted for stage, television, and film, and is required reading in many high school and college courses for both its historical and literary merits. These facts all combine to make it an incredibly collectible book, with a price range to match.
A Farewell to Arms was first printed in 1929 by Charles Scribner's Sons, with over 31,000 printed in the first run. The cover was rather scandalous for the time, with the blue dust cover's classical style artwork including a woman's exposed breasts. Due to censorship, many of these dust jackets were destroyed, making copies that have them intact and in good condition especially valuable. A first edition can be identified by the blue boards and, more importantly, a typo on page 66 of "seriosu".Even more valuable than that are the 510 numbered and signed copies from the first edition run. Even in terrible condition these can fetch a minimum of $3,000, while copies in excellent condition can sometimes approach $20,000. A recent auction of a signed first edition sold for $6,000 despite being faded, torn, worn, and soiled.
In addition to the American first edition, the first editions published in other countries can also be worth a small amount, though not nearly as much as an American copy. Even copies in other languages such as French or Latvian might sell for several hundred dollars.
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York (1929). Signed Limited Edition; First U.S. Edition; 510 copies
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. Jonathan Cape: London (1929). First U.K. Edition
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell To Arms. The Modern Library: New York (1932). Modern Library Edition
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. Charles Scribner's Sons: New York (1948). First Illustrated Edition; Illustrated by Daniel Rasmussen
Hemingway, Ernest. A Farewell to Arms. Easton Press: Norwalk, CT (1990). Collector's Edition; Illustrated by Alan Phillips and Richard Powers