The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

The Handmaid’s Tale is a dystopian novel written by Margaret Atwood in 1985. It depicts a totalitarian world known as Gilead, portraying the subjection of women in a patriarchal society. The near-future New England setting illustrates a bleak portrayal of the world after the United States is overthrown by a fundamentalist group. Society is reorganized by the regime using a peculiar interpretation of some Old Testament ideas, and a new militarized, hierarchical model of social and religious fanaticism among its newly created social classes. The novel follows the story of a young woman, Offred, who struggles to maintain her identity. It depicts the rebellion of the women in her social class as their ability to read, write, own property, or handle money are lost. Most significantly, women are deprived of control over their own reproductive functions.

The Handmaid's Tale was nominated for the first-ever Man Booker International Prize representing the best writers in contemporary fiction. 

Margaret Atwood is the author of more than 35 internationally acclaimed works of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. Her numerous awards include the Governor General’s Award for The Handmaid’s Tale, and The Giller Prize and Italian Premio Mondello for Alias Grace. The Handmaid’s Tale, Cat’s Eye, Alias Grace, and Oryx and Crake were all shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, which she won with The Blind Assassin. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and has been awarded the Norwegian Order of Literary Merit and the French Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres among many others; she is a Foreign Honorary Member for Literature of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. She lives in Toronto.


First Edition Identification and Notes

McClelland and Stewart published a 1st edition of The Handmaid’s Tale in 1985, as a hardcover in Toronto, Canada. A true first printing includes "Set in the near future in a locale resembling Cambridge Massachusetts, this work describes life in what was once the United States - A Clockwork Orange, as seen by women" on the dust jacket. 

In 1986 Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, published the first US edition of 
The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986.

Jonathan Cape published the first UK edition of The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

The Folio Society published a limited edition of The Handmaid’s Tale in 2012, London. The hardcover edition features unique illustrations by Anna and Elena Balbusso, in full-color. 


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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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Burnside Rare Books, ABAA
Published
1985
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Near Fine
Edition
First Edition
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$1,500.00

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Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1985. First Edition. Near Fine/Near Fine. First edition, first printing. Signed by Margaret Atwood on the half-title page. Bound in publisher's original tan and red cloth-affect boards with spine lettered in white. Near Fine. Former owner gift inscription and patch of discoloration from erasure to front free end paper. In a Near Fine price-clipped… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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RareNonFiction.com
Published
1985
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Good
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780771008139
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$1,500.00

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Toronto, Canada: McClelland and Stewart. Hardcover. 0771008139 Signed, without inscription, by Margaret Atwood upon half-title page. True first printing. "Set in the near future in a locale resembling Cambridge Massachusetts, this work describes life in what was once the United States - A Clockwork Orange, as seen by women." - dust jacket. Unmarked with moderate wear. … Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Published
1988-02-02
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New
ISBN
9780770422639
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The Handmaid’s Tale.

by Atwood, Margaret

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1985
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Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1985. First Canadian edition and true first of Atwood's finest novel, "a fluid nightmare requiem" (Clute & Nicholls, 69). Octavo, bound in full morocco, gilt titles and ruling to the spine, raised bands, gilt ruled to the front and rear panels, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the half-title… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale.

by Atwood, Margaret. (Poems) Grace, Sherrill E. (Introduction)

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Waverley Books
Published
1986
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Fine in Fine dust jacket
Edition
First Edition; First Printing
ISBN
9780395404256
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$1,000.00

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Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company.. Fine in Fine dust jacket. 1986. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. 0395404258 . First American edition. INSCRIBED by Margaret Atwood on half-title page to noted translator Tiina Nunnally. Fine in fine dust jacket. Includes the original pictorial publisher's card. Tiina Nunnally is the translator of the Henning Mankell mystery novels. A notable… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale.

by Atwood, Margaret.

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Published
1986
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Fine in Fine dust jacket
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9780395404256
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Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company.. Fine in Fine dust jacket. 1986. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. 0395404258 . First American edition. SIGNED by Margaret Atwood on the title page. Fine in a fine dust jacket. Includes the publisher's pictorial book card laid-in loosely. The author's magnum opus in the dystopian genre. Basis for two film adaptations and… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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John Atkinson Books
Published
1986
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London: Cape, 1986. A first edition, first printing published by Cape in 1986. A near fine book without inscriptions (spotting to the page edges) in a near fine unclipped wrapper with some bumping to the corners and spine tips. Rare
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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John Atkinson Books
Published
1986
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London: Cape, 1986. A first edition, first printing published by Cape in 1986. A near fine book with one small name to the head of the endpaper in a near fine unclipped wrapper with some spotting to the rear flap. 
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THE HANDMAID'S TALE

by Atwood, Margaret

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Griffin Books
Published
1986-01-01
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Like New
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Jonathan Cape, 1986-01-01. Hardcover. Like New. 1986 Jonathan Cape first UK first printing 1/4 inch tear to bottom of front flap of the jacket, faint ever toning tight binding no marks square corners. Looks and feels unread. ferg Please email for photos.
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The Handmaid's Tale

by MARGARET ATWOOD

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Allen Panzeri Books
Published
1985
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
First edition, first printing
ISBN
9780771008139
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Other than trivial wear to the spine ends, this is a very fine copy. It is signed by the author on the half-title page and protected in an archival cover.
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The Handmaid's Tale.

by Atwood, Margaret.

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Waverley Books
Published
1986
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Fine with no dust jacket
Edition
First Edition; First Printing
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Boston: Houghton , Mifflin and Company.. Fine with no dust jacket. 1986. First Edition; First Printing. Softcover. Advance reading copy. SIGNED by Margaret Atwood on title page. Fine in pictorial printed wrappers. Basis for 2 film adaptations. Widely regarded a masterwork of dystopian literature. ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall .
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Grayshelf Books, IOBA, TXBA
Published
1986
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Fine
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9780395404256
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First Edition/First Printing with the complete number line; A Fine book in a Near Fine dust jacket. Flat SIGNED and inscribed by the author on the half title page. A pristine copy of this classic novel of dystopian fiction, now basis for the outstanding TV series starring Elisabeth Moss; scarce in this condition, particularly signed. Nominated for multiple awards and… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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Burnside Rare Books, ABAA
Published
1985
Condition
Very Good+
Edition
Advance Reading Copy
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Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1985. Advance Reading Copy. Very Good+. Signed by Margaret Atwood on the half-title, inscribed to former owner.Advance reading copy of the first American edition, also referred to as an Advance Uncorrected Proof on the front endpaper. [xii], 240 pp. Illustrated wraps. Very Good+ with some creasing and offsetting to spine, slightly bumped corners. The… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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2001-05-07
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New
ISBN
9780860688662
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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1985
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9780771008139
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Toronto, Canada: McClelland and Stewart. Hardcover. 0771008139 True first printing. "Set in the near future in a locale resembling Cambridge Massachusetts, this work describes life in what was once the United States - A Clockwork Orange, as seen by women." - dust jacket. Unmarked with light wear. Binding tight. Two cm opening atop dust jacket front… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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Pistil Books Online
Published
1986
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780395404256
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Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1986. First Edition. Hard Cover. Near Fine/Near Fine. Inscribed By Author. A clean, unmarked book with a tight binding. Very slight bump to corner of rear cover and slight wear to top page ends. Slightest discoloration to dust jacket. First Edition with the number ""1"" present in the number line. … Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Published
1994-03-03
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New
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9780860688662
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The Handmaid's Tale.

by Atwood, Margaret.

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Waverley Books
Published
1986
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Fine in Fine dust jacket
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First Edition; First Printing
ISBN
9780395404256
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Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company.. Fine in Fine dust jacket. 1986. First Edition; First Printing. Hardcover. 0395404258 . First American edition. Fine in fine dust jacket. Publisher's pictorial bookcard laid-in. Author's masterpiece. Basis to for two film adaptations. (GC) ; 8vo 8" - 9" tall; 311 pages .
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Published
1986-08-05
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ISBN
9780770428204
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The Handmaid's Tale (signed)

by Atwood, Margaret

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Alcuin Books, ABAA-ILAB
Published
1986
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First Edition
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$550.00

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Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 1986. First Edition. Octavo. 311pp. Signed by the author. Set in the near future, it describes life in what was once the United States, now called the Republic of Gilead. The regime talks the Book of Genesis at its work, with bizarre consequences for the women and men of its population. The story is told… Read more
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THE HANDMAID'S TALE

by Margaret Atwood

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Atlanta Vintage Books
Published
1988
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Near Fine
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First Edition
ISBN
9780395404256
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US: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), 1988. First Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine/Near Fine. First Edition, First Printing. Signed by author on a bookplate pasted to first free end paper. Pages are clean. Previous owner's name on top of first free end paper. Binding is square and tight. Boards are clean. Text block is faintly soiled. Dust jacket is overall… Read more
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handmaids tale

by atwood, margaret

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Sixth Chamber Used Books/Fox Den Books
ISBN
9780395404256
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$500.00

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Hard Cover. Houghton Mifflin 1986. Short-listed for the Man Booker Award. First Edition. Signed by Author on the Half Title Page. Clean Text, No Water Damage, Strong Binding. DJ Lightly Yellowed. Unless Listed in this decription, VG or Better.
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Ergodebooks
Published
1986-01-01
Condition
Used:Good
ISBN
9780770428204
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Bantam Books of Canada Ltd, 1986-01-01. Paperback. Used:Good.
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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The Book Scouts
Published
1985-01-01
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780771008139
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$494.99 $420.74
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McClelland and Stewart, 1985-01-01. First Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine/Very Good+. Canadian first edition, first printing. Back of jacket has a small tear at top. Jacket is NOT price clipped. Top & bottom spine area of book very lightly rubbed. The book itself is in Near Fine condition. The binding is straight and tight. NO remainder mark. Previous owners… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale (signed bookplate)

by Atwood, Margaret

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Augustine Funnell Books
Published
1985
Condition
About Very Good
Edition
First Edition, 1st printing
ISBN
9780771008139
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$350.00

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Toronto: McClelland & Stewart (M&S), 1985. To anyone who needs to be told what this one is about, welcome back to Planet Earth. A lot has happened while you've been away. But you can read about that elsewhere. Of importance to this listing, 'The Handmaid's Tale' won the 1985 Governor General's Award and the 1987 Arthur C.… Read more
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THE HANDMAID'S TALE

by Atwood, Margaret

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L. W. Currey, Inc.
Published
1986
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Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1986. Octavo, cloth-backed boards. First U.S. edition, first printing with code "V 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1" on copyright page. "Dystopian novel of a world ruled by militaristic fundamentalism in which sexual pleasure is forbidden." - Anatomy of Wonder (2004) II-57. Made into a film in 1990. Winner… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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Pistil Books Online
Published
2012
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Fine
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London: The Folio Society, 2012. Hard Cover. Fine/No Jacket. Balbusso, Anna and Elena. A new, unread book in excellent condition in an excellent slipcase. No dust jacket, as issued. With a new introduction by Margaret Atwood. Illustrations by Anna and Elena Balbusso.
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Books Express
Published
1988-03-06
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New
ISBN
9780395404256
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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84 Charing Cross Road Books
Published
1986
Condition
Near Fine Condition
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780224023481
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$266.96

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Jonathan Cape, 1986. First Edition. Hardcover. Near Fine Condition/Near Fine. VG+/Near Fine 2nd impression 1st edition 1986 Jonathan Cape hardback, unclipped DJ, original jacket illustration, highly impressive novel by Atwood. Minor indent to lower front edge of board, book itself and jacket VG+ and unmarked with a little page tanning and gentle spotting to top… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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Dividing Line Books
Published
1986
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Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1986. 1st Edition . Soft cover. Fine. Advance Uncorrected Proof of the first American edition. 8vo. 240pp. Perfect-bound in printed wraps. About fine, with a touch of bumping at spine ends, very minor wear at front cover corners. An exceptionally nice copy of the Advance Reading Copy / Advance Uncorrected Proof of Atwood's enduring… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Sellers & Newel Second-Hand Books
Published
1985
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1985. 1st Edition . Hardcover. Near Fine/Fine. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Near fine first edition. Binding tight and square. Stain to bottom of text block and minor wear to bottom of spine and adjacent bottom of boards. Discreet previous owner's embossed stamp to bottom of front end paper. Fine jacket with… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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Wonder Book
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Collectible - Very Good
ISBN
9780771008139
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McClelland and Stewart. Collectible - Very Good. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart 1985. 1st edition 1st printing. Hardcover 8vo 324 pgs. Very good book in a very good dust jacket. Spine ends bumped and worn. Owner's bookplate (with her name in ink) affixed to front pastedown. Contents clean and binding sound. Jacket edgeworn and has some edge tears. Rear… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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DrPanglossBooks
Published
1986
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Very Good-
Edition
first edition U.S.
ISBN
9780395404256
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first U.S. edition first printing hardcover in dust jacket; no prior owner marks; minimal age tone; tight bind; clean 1/4 cloth cover bright titling; little rub wear at spine ends and corner tips; dj has some sunning along spine and top panel edges; dj edge wear:small nicks at spine ends, short tear at spine heel; flap price present M76Dambib
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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84 Charing Cross Road Books
Published
1986
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Good Condition
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First Edition
ISBN
9780224023481
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Jonathan Cape, 1986. First Edition. Hardcover. Good Condition/Very Good. Good+/VG- 3rd impression 1st edition 1986 Jonathan Cape hardback, price-clipped DJ, original jacket illustration, highly impressive novel by Atwood. Bump and crease to edge of front board beneath jacket with crease to same area of dust-jacket, some surface spotting to inner front flap of jacket, otherwise… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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J. E. MILES, A BOOKSELLER
Published
1986
Condition
Collectible - Very Good/Very Good
Edition
First Printing
ISBN
9780395404256
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$204.00

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Houghton Mifflin. Collectible - Very Good/Very Good. 1986. First Printing. Hard Cover. 0395404258 (I-187) (K146) a very good hard cover with a very good good dust jacket .
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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J. E. MILES, A BOOKSELLER
Published
1986
Condition
Collectible - Very Good/Very Good
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First Printing
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Houghton Mifflin. Collectible - Very Good/Very Good. 1986. First Printing. Hard Cover.
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Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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William Chrisant & Sons' Old Florida Book Shop, ABAA, ILAB, FABA
Published
1986
Condition
Fine
Edition
First Edition
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A nice clean copy without previous owners' names or other markings.
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THE HANDMAID'S TALE.

by Atwood, Margaret.

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Books Express
Published
1986-01-01
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New
ISBN
9780770421151
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1986-01-01. New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May be re-issue. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Books Express
Published
1998-01-01
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New
ISBN
9780770428204
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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Ergodebooks
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1985-01-01
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Used:Good
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First Edition
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9780771008139
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McClelland and Stewart, 1985-01-01. First Edition. Hardcover. Used:Good.
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THE HANDMAID'S TALE

by Atwood, Margaret

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Book Bazaar
Published
1985
Condition
Very Good+
Edition
First Edition
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$184.00

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Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 1985. Hardcover; 8vo; 324 pages. First edition. Two tone paper hardcovers, burgundy on spine, cream-coloured on sides. Gently rubbed edges. Inside pages are very clean. Burgundy endpapers, with previous owner's signature in red ink (barely visible!) on fep. Pages' edges are lightly bumped on tail-edge of the text-block. In a off-white jacket with red titles and… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale.

by Atwood, Margaret.

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Pilgrim Reader Books - IOBA
Published
1985
Condition
Very Good in Good dust jacket
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First Edition; Second Printing
ISBN
9780771008139
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$175.00

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Toronto, Ontario.: McClelland and Stewart Limited.. Very Good in Good dust jacket. 1985. First Edition; Second Printing. Hardcover. 0771008139 . 8vo - 23 x 15 cm.; 324 pp. Two-colour cloth over boards, ivory on the boards and red/brown on the spine with ivory lettering on the spine. Stated second printing 1985, on the copyright page with the copyright… Read more
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THE HANDMAID'S TALE

by Atwood, Margaret

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Abound Book Company
Published
1986
Condition
Near Fine in Fine dust jacket
Edition
First Edition; Third Printing
ISBN
9780224023481
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$197.95 $158.36
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Jonathan Cape: London. Near Fine in Fine dust jacket. 1986. First Edition; Third Printing. Hardcover. 0224023489 . First English edition, third printing. Tight and clean book, appears unread. Free of former owner writing or bookplates, former owner blindstamp on front fly page. Very near fine, just light foxing to top edge. Fine non price clipped ($9.95 net.… Read more
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Margaret Atwood

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The Title Page ABAA
Published
1986
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780395404256
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$150.00

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Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. Light green spine with silver lettering over gray paper covered boards. Minor foxing and staining on book edges. Unpriceclipped pictorial dust jacket is without defects. Excellent copy of an important fictional work.. First Edition. Cloth Backed Paper Covered Boa. Near Fine/Near Fine. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Trade.
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The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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Bren-Books.com
Published
1986
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
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$140.00

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New York, New York, U.S.A.: Houghton Mifflin, 1986. Book. Very Good. Hardcover. First Edition. 1986 Houghton Mifflin FIRST edition of Atwood's acclaimed futuristic novel. This book is in VG/VG condition. The HB is clean with a long inscription on the ffep. The DJ is unclipped and has minor wear at the spine ends. **Brenbooks… Read more
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$140.00
image of The Handmaid's Tale

The Handmaid's Tale

by Atwood, Margaret

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84 Charing Cross Road Books
Published
1986
Condition
Good Condition
Edition
First Edition
ISBN
9780224023481
Item Price
$141.41

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Description:
Jonathan Cape, 1986. First Edition. Hardcover. Good Condition/Very Good. VG-/VG- 3rd impression 1st edition 1986 Jonathan Cape hardback, unclipped DJ, original jacket illustration, highly impressive novel by Atwood. Name written to top of fly-leaf, page tanning and some uneven patches of foxing to leading edge of pages and end-flaps of DJ else VG tight and… Read more
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Item Price
$141.41
image of The Handmaid's Tale (The Classic Collection)

The Handmaid's Tale (The Classic Collection)

by Atwood, Margaret

Seller
Books Express
Published
2014-10-28
Condition
Good
ISBN
9781480559967
Item Price
$138.10

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Description:
2014-10-28. Good. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be re-issue. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!
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Item Price
$138.10
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The Handmaid's Tale

by margaret atwood

Seller
Books Express
Published
2019-01-01
Condition
New
ISBN
9780224101936
Item Price
$133.36

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Description:
2019-01-01. New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May be re-issue. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!
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$133.36
image of The Handmaid's Tale (Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series)

The Handmaid's Tale (Thorndike Press Large Print Core Series)

by Margaret Atwood

Seller
Books Express
Published
2017-05-03
Condition
New
ISBN
9781432838478
Item Price
$131.90

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Description:
2017-05-03. New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May be re-issue. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!
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Item Price
$131.90
image of The Handmaid's Tale (New Windmills)

The Handmaid's Tale (New Windmills)

by Margaret Atwood

Seller
Books Express
Published
1993-09-09
Condition
New
ISBN
9780435124090
Item Price
$131.90

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Description:
1993-09-09. New. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May be re-issue. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!
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Item Price
$131.90