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Identifying First Edition Idriess Books

You can use this guide to start with, but you should consult the full bibliography for each particular title.

The first point to make is that none of the first edition Angus & Robertson books actually state “First Edition”.

Note that the USA Bobs Merrill Co. publication of Dog of the Desert does state “First Edition”.

However, second and later editions may state the edition, either on the title page or the title verso e.g. “Second Edition”.

The second point is that the method used by Angus & Robertson changed in 1948 so that the title page and verso before and after 1948 have a different wording.

That said, let’s get on with our identification…

Step 1

Look for the date at the bottom of the Title page and confirm that it matches the year of first publication (refer to our Bibliography Summary page).

If it matches, or if there is no date, then go to Step 2.

If it doesn’t match then you are looking at a reprint. For example, some sellers of Idriess books often confuse the 1946 edition of ‘Nemarluk’, as the first edition because there is no mention of a previous edition. A simple check for the book in our Bibliography page would show that it was, in fact, first published in 1941.

Step 2

Look at the title page - there should be no mention of any edition. Now check the title page verso (the other side of the title page). First edition Angus & Robertson books do not mention any further printings or editions on these pages.

The title page verso of a first edition will either…

Not state anything at all (pre 1948 titles)


Simply state “First Published” followed by the year (later titles from 1948)

For example, a 2nd edition of ‘The Yellow Joss’ shows the following:

…whilst a first edition of the same book does not state anything (except for the 3 paragraphs stating with “set up, printed and bound in Australia by Halstead Press” etc.)

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