HAWKING, Stephen.

A Brief History of Time.

From the Big Bang to Black Holes. Introduction by Carl Sagan. Illustrations by Ron Miller.

New York: Bantam Books, 1988 Stock Code: 142453
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tHE rare SUPPRESSED FIRST PRINTING, with pre-publication ephemera

First US edition, the suppressed first printing, of this masterpiece of scientific popularization; this copy accompanied by a press release from Bantam New York's publicity director Sally Williams and a black-and-white press photograph of Hawking introducing him as the author.

The press release is headlined "for immediate release" and announces the present title "scheduled for hardcover publication by Bantam Books on April 2, 1988". It goes on to summarise Hawking's achievements to date and the purpose of this book - "Now, he abandons the mathematical equations with which he works, to write a book for the layperson the resulting theory will resolve all the yet unsolved mysteries of the universe" - before concluding with news of his upcoming lecture circuit in California.

One of the most important scientific works of the 20th century, A Brief History of Time details the origin and eventual fate of the universe. The first US edition was published simultaneously with the UK edition in April 1988. The error-riddled first printing of the former was recalled and destroyed, though a small number survived. It has gray-blue endpapers, lacks the contents page and the dedication statement on the copyright page, shows a number of figures incorrectly ordered or labelled, and has a silvery light-blue dust jacket, similar in colour to that of the UK first edition jacket. The second printing has white endpapers, the contents page and dedication present, corrections made to the figures, and a dark blue dust jacket. There are several textual differences and a different ISBN was assigned.

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Octavo. Original black cloth-backed black boards, titles to spines in silver. With the dust jacket. Together with a 2-page typed press release on Bantam News letterhead, folded and stapled top left, and a black and white photograph of Hawking in his wheelchair, taken by Miriam Berkley in 1988, captioned beneath "Dr. Stephen M. Hawking. Author of A Brief History of Time…".


Full-page and in-text illustrations and diagrams.


A fine copy, the press release and photo in equally fine condition.


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