The Heart Of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter, set in an unnamed West African colony towards the end of World War II, is loosely based on the author’s own experience as a British intelligence officer in Sierra Leone. The novel’s protagonist, Henry Scobie, struggles to make his miserable wife happy. In the process, Scobie begins to wonder if any individual can truly make another happy, resulting in a life-changing moral crisis.

The Heart of the Matter, an insightful exploration of pity, suffering, religion, and responsibility, quickly became extremely popular, having sold more than 300,000 copies upon publication. The novel was critically acclaimed and received many favorable reviews. In 1948, The Heart of the Matter was awarded the James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction and it was shortlisted for the Best of the James Tait Black awardees in 2012. The novel is ranked 40th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century and is also listed on TIME’s “100 Best Novels” (since 1923).

First Edition Identification and Notes

William Heinemann first published The Heart of the Matter in London in 1948. Bound in dark blue cloth, the 297-page first edition states “First Published 1948” on the copyright page with no additional printings listed. The original dust jack is red with darkened corners and white text. 

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

The Viking Press published the first US edition of The Heart of the Matter later in 1948.

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Available copies

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The Heart of the Matter.

by Greene, Graham

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1948
Item Price
$5,500.00

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New York: The Viking Press, 1948. First American edition of what many consider the author's masterpiece. Octavo, original half cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "For Bob Goldstein from Graham Greene Nothing under $200,000." Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. The… Read more
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$5,500.00
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The Heart of the Matter.

by Greene, Graham

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1948
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$5,500.00

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London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1948. First edition of what many consider the author's masterpiece. Octavo, original blue cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author on the title page, "For Koos from Graham Greene." The recipient, Koo Stark is a photographer and actress, who appeared in Shades of Greene, a television adaptation of several Graham Greene stories which began in… Read more
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$5,500.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1948
Condition
Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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$3,500.00

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Viking Press. DJ in archival cover spine lightly sunned ware to the extremities. . Fine. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 1948.
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$3,500.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
Item Price
$3,000.00

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Viking Press. Publishers cloth. Limited Release of 150 " This copy of The Heart Of The Matter is one of 150 copies of the first edition specially bound for distribution to friends of the Viking Press." Stated published by Viking Press in July 1948. . Very Good. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 1948.
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1948
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
1st Edition
Item Price
$3,000.00

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Viking Press. DJ in archival cover; edge wear; spine lightly sunned. Stated published by Viking Press in July 1948. . Near Fine. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 1948.
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1948
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
1st Edition
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$3,000.00

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Viking Press. DJ in archival cover very light edge ware soiling. Stated published by Viking Press in July 1948. . Near Fine. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 1948.
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$3,000.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
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$2,500.00

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Viking Press. DJ in archival cover large chips edge ware spine sunned Stated published by Viking Press in July 1948. . Very Good. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 1948.
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$2,500.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by GREENE GRAHAM

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James M Pickard, ABA, ILAB, PBFA.
Published
1948
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$2,074.52

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London: Heinemann, 1948. First Edition. Hard Cover. Dust Jacket. First UK Edition. Publisher's dark blue cloth with silver lettering to the spine. Tan end-papers, red top-stain. This is the Heinemann First Edition from 1948. A near fine (or better) copy without inscriptions. Laid in is the rare advertising material for 'A Gun For Sale' and… Read more
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$2,074.52
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The Heart of the Matter

by GREENE GRAHAM

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James M Pickard, ABA, ILAB, PBFA.
Published
1948
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$1,824.14

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London: Heinemann, 1948. First Edition. Hard Cover. Dust Jacket. First UK Edition. Publisher's dark blue cloth with silver lettering to the spine. Tan end-papers, red top-stain. This is the Heinemann First Edition from 1948. A VG copy without inscriptions but bumped to the corner of the boards and with a former owner's name embossed on the… Read more
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THE HEART OF THE MATTER

by Greene, Graham

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Sumner & Stillman
Published
1948
Item Price
$1,350.00

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1948. New York: The Viking Press, 1948. Original grey and antique-rose cloth, with dust jacket. First American Edition of Greene's first post-war novel, portraying the moral crisis of a good man "increasingly enmeshed in love, in intrigue, and in evil" (per the jacket), while serving as a wartime British colonial police officer in a West African capital. … Read more
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$1,350.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by GREENE GRAHAM

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James M Pickard, ABA, ILAB, PBFA.
Published
1948
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$1,137.41

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London: Heinemann, 1948. First Edition. Hard Cover. Dust Jacket. (London: Willian Heinemann Ltd 1948). First UK Edition, first printing. Publisher's original dark blue cloth with silver titles to the spine. Top edge stained red. A VG+ copy, the binding clean and square with only light rubbing and softening at the spine tips. The contents are… Read more
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$1,137.41
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The Heart of the Matter

by Graham Greene

Seller
mclinhavenbooks
Published
1948
Condition
very good Plus
Edition
First Edition.
Item Price
$980.00

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New York: Viking Press, 1948. First Edition.. Hardcover. very good Plus/Very Good. 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. 1st Printing 1 Copyright date is 1948, This vintage volume is bound in red cloth covered boards with blue cloth spine cover and features original dust jacket with publisher's price of $3.00. The Heart of the Matter (1948) is… Read more
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$980.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

Seller
James Cummins Bookseller
Published
1948
Condition
Gray and maroon cloth, top edge red. Endpapers toned, near fine, in near fine, unclipped dust jacket
Edition
First edition
Item Price
$900.00

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London: William Heinemann, 1948. First edition. [vi], 297 pp. 1 vols. 12mo. Gray and maroon cloth, top edge red. Endpapers toned, near fine, in near fine, unclipped dust jacket. First edition. [vi], 297 pp. 1 vols. 12mo. Brennan 20; Miller 25a
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The Heart of the Matter

by GREENE, Graham (1904-1991)

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Adrian Harrington Rare Books
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$858.42

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London: William Heinemann, 1948. [Adventure novel] FIRST EDITION. Octavo (19 x 13cm), pp.297. Publisher's blue cloth with silver titles to spine, buff endpapers, red top stain, dust-jacket priced at 9s.6d. Some overall wear and soiling, jacket with a few chips/rubs, red spine colour remains strong. A used, yet very good copy of a book which shows wear all… Read more
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$858.42
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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J. Mercurio Books, Maps, & Prints
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
Item Price
$750.00

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Description:
William Heinemann Ltd. . DJ in archival cover chips edge ware corners bumped. Original blue cloth with silver titles, in red DJ lettered in white with red topstain. . Very Good. Hardcover. 1st Edition. 3rd Printing. 1948.
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$750.00
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THE HEART OF THE MATTER

by Greene, Graham

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Quill & Brush
Published
(1948)
Item Price
$700.00

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London: William Heinemann, (1948). First edition. Based on Greene's on experience as a British intelligence officer in West Africa. Rated among the top 100 English-language novels by both the Modern Library and Time Magazine and basis for the 1953 movie starring Trevor Howard. Offset from binding has darkened the endpapers and adjacent pages including the half-title as generally seen… Read more
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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John Atkinson Books
Published
1948
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$679.58

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London: Heinemann, 1948. A first edition, first printing published by Heinemann in 1948. A near fine book without inscriptions in a very good+ marginally spine faded dust wrapper which is unclipped. One small closed tear to the foot of the spine and one large to the bottom of the front panel. Closed ragged tear to the edge of… Read more
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$679.58
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

Seller
Bookbid Rare Books
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$600.00

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Description:
William Heinemann Ltd, 1948. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. Published in London, England by William Heinemann Ltd. in 1948. First Edition indicated on copyright page, which states "First Published 1948." Book was awarded the 1949 James Tait Black Memorial Prize, one of the oldest and most prestigious book awards in Britain. Book very good, discoloration on some… Read more
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$600.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

Seller
Andrew Barnes Booksellers
Published
1948
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
1st edition
Item Price
$565.00

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Description:
London: Heinemann, 1948. 1st edition. Near Fine. octavo. hardback with dust jacket 297pp., Nice copy in price-clipped dust jacket with minimal chips & some fading at spine, which has been professionally strengthened. A neat date on front end paper. Overall a nice square, tight copy
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$565.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Grahame Greene

Seller
mclinhavenbooks
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Limited Edition.
Item Price
$490.00

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Description:
New York: The Viking Press, 1948. First Limited Edition.. Hardcover. Very Good. 12mo - over 6¾ - 7¾" tall. 1st Printing 1 Copyright date 1948, this copy of the Heart of the Matter Is One of 750 Copies of the First limited Edition Specifically Bound for Distribution to the Friends of the Viking Press. Brown Tweed Cloth over… Read more
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$490.00
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The Heart of the Matter.

by Greene, Graham

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Raptis Rare Books
Published
1948
Item Price
$475.00

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London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1948. First edition of what many consider the author's masterpiece. Octavo, original blue cloth. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with some rubbing and wear. The Heart of the Matter was enormously popular, selling more than 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom upon its release and went on to win the 1948 James… Read more
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$475.00
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The Heart of the Matter. [Second Impression]. IN FULL MOROCCO

by GREENE

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Island Books
Published
[1948]
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$463.55

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Heinemann,, [1948]. 8vo., Second Impression, page edges tanning mildly as often; handsomely bound in full burgundy morocco, sides with gilt frame borders, back with raised bands, second and fourth compartments ruled and lettered in gilt, all other compartments tooled in gilt, red top, hand-made endpapers, a most attractive copy ideal as a gift or for presentation. Elegant copy of… Read more
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$463.55
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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mclinhavenbooks
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
Item Price
$360.00

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Description:
New York: The Viking Press, 1948. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. 1st Printing 1 Copyright date is 1948, first edition, first printing. Quarter gray cloth-backed boards lettered in maroon, top edge maroon, jacket. First American Trade Edition. From the jacket: "In this story of what happened to a certain man… Read more
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$360.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by GREENE, Graham (1904-1991)

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Adrian Harrington Rare Books
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$321.91

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London: William Heinemann Ltd., 1948. [Adventure novel] FIRST EDITION. Octavo (19 x 13cm), pp.297; [1]. Elegantly hand-bound in black half calf, spine gilt-lettered in six compartments with raised bands, matching cloth sides. A couple of small spots to edges, flyleaf toned, exterior unmarked. A near fine copy in an attractive recent leather binding. Greene's classic tale… Read more
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$321.91
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

Seller
Inklings & Yarnspinners
Published
1948
Condition
Near fine 1st edition with unclipped d/j, little evidence of being read, so binding is tight and pages crisp. Slight foxing on e
Edition
1st
Item Price
$264.68

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London: Heinemann, 1948. 1st. h/b. Near fine 1st edition with unclipped d/j, little evidence of being read, so binding is tight and pages crisp. Slight foxing on edges, but book is unmarked and clean.. 12mo (190 x 130 / 7_"" x 5""). Scobie, a police officer serving in a war-time West African state, is distrusted, being scrupulously honest… Read more
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$264.68
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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curtis paul books inc.
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good in Very Good dust jacket
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$249.99

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Description:
London: William Heinemann. Very Good in Very Good dust jacket. 1948. First Edition. Hardcover. Blue cloth with silver-gilt titled spine, oragne topstain. First UK edition. Cloth edges rubbed, slight staining. Vertical ridge to center spine, corner wear. Pages toned, erasures to ffep, scattered foxing mostly to block edge. Hinges sound. The DJ in mylar is chipped with… Read more
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$249.99
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The Heart of the Matter

by GREENE, Graham

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Longland Books
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$207.45

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London: Heinemann, 1948 The book is tight - evidently seldom read - with moderate browning to the endpapers. The dj (protected, unclipped) is reasonably bright - relatively slight fading to the spine and moderate browning to back panel, with some creasing and fraying to the extremities ofthe spine.. First Edition. Cloth. Very Good/Good. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾"… Read more
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$207.45
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The Heart of the Matter.

by GREENE, Graham.

Seller
Jeff Maser, Bookseller-ABAA
Published
1948.
Edition
First edition, limited issue.
Item Price
$200.00

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Description:
NY: Viking, , 1948.. First edition, limited issue.. 306 pp. Near fine in decorated full cloth with faint sunning to spine. One of 750 copies for friends of the press with a fine copy the accompanying booklet, “Graham Greene: The emergence of a major novelist.”
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$200.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

Seller
BookRanger
Published
1948
Edition
First Edition; First Printing
Item Price
$200.00

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Description:
Hardcover. 297 pp. William Heinemann Ltd., London UK (1948). First Edition (FPu). First Printing. No dust jacket. Black cloth boards with silver titling to spine. Solid binding, with moderate wear to board extremities. Gardner Dwinell Pond bookplate on front pastedown. PO name and inkstamp on FFEP. No other markings inside or out. Light age-toning of leaves. Very Good+/No DJ. More… Read more
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$200.00
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The Heart of The Matter

by Greene,Graham

Seller
Richard Thornton Books
Published
1948
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$200.30

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London: Heinemann. This is a Near Fine Copy of this Book rebound in black cloth with gilt title lettering to spine and with new cream endpapers professionally inserted.No previous names or inscriptions are present.Top edge red stain has dulled and page edges are tanned.The book comes with it's dust-wrapper graded Very Good with rubbing and wear along edges and there… Read more
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$200.30
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HEART OF THE MATTER -FIRST ED

by GREENE GRAHAM

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Rare Square Books
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$165.00

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VIKING.
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham, 1904 - 1991

Seller
Syber's Books ABN 15 100 960 047
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good Condition
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$143.96

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William Heinemann, Melbourne . London . Toronto, 1948. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good Condition/Good. preface by author. Blue coloured cloth covered boards with silver coloured titles to the back strip. Plaintext dustwrapper white coloured titles to the front panel and backstrip. Set in the west coast of Africa during World War II and deals with… Read more
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$143.96
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THE HEART OF THE MATTER

by Greene, Graham

Seller
May Day Books
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good in unclipped dust jacket; slight cock to spine; dj is edgeworn, lightly chipped at spine and with a ½ in
Item Price
$124.99

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New York: Viking, 1948. Hardcover. Very Good in unclipped dust jacket; slight cock to spine; dj is edgeworn, lightly chipped at spine and with a ½ inch closed tear; top edge dyed burgundy. 5.75 x 8.5 x 1.25 inches. First American Edition Another, perhaps the best, exploration by Greene of inner conflict
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$124.99
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The Heart of the Matter

by Graham Greene

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Phatpocket Limited
Condition
Used - Good
Item Price
$127.26

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William Heinemann Ltd. Used - Good. Ships from UK in 48 hours or less (usually same day). Your purchase helps support Sri Lankan Children's Charity 'The Rainbow Centre'. Ex-library, so some stamps and wear, but in good overall condition. 100% money back guarantee. We are a world class secondhand bookstore based in Hertfordshire, United Kingdom and specialize in… Read more
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$127.26
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The Heart of the Matter ; Orient Express ; A Burnt-out Case ; The Third Man ; Th

by Greene, Graham

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ThriftBooks
Published
1977
Condition
Good
Item Price
$119.48

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Heinemann / Octopus, 1977. Hardcover. Good. Disclaimer:Missing dust jacket; Pages can have notes/highlighting. Spine may show signs of wear. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket quality is not guaranteed.
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$119.48
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Reflected Lights: His Story in Words and Pictures

by Panabaker, Frank S.

Seller
Lower Beverley Better Books
Published
1957
Condition
Near Fine
Edition
Presumed First Canadian Edition
Item Price
$110.00

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Toronto: The Ryerson Press, 1957. September, 1957. Foreword by author. Introduction by Lorne Pierce. 159 pp. Twenty-four illustrations. Book has slightly rubbed spine ends, top edge foxing and fo dedication ffep. Unclipped, unpriced DJ has edge wear with chipping. A hard-to-find book. Bookseller's Inventory # 191195.. Presumed First Canadian Edition. Red… Read more
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$110.00
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Littlehampton Book Services Ltd, 1977-03-01. Hardcover. Used:Good.
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$108.86
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THE HEART OF THE MATTER

by Graham Greene

Seller
Atlanta Vintage Books
Published
1948
Condition
Very Good -
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$100.00

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US: Viking Press, 1948. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good -/No Dust Jacket. Limited Edition, one of 750 copies of the First Edition specially bound for distribution to Friends of the Viking Press. Interior is clean and unmarked; endpages are toned. Boards are toned at edges and spine; spine toning and rubbing makes the text on the spine difficult… Read more
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$100.00
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THE HEART OF THE MATTER

by GREENE, GRAHAM

Seller
JOHN LUTSCHAK BOOKS
Published
PUB 1948
Condition
NF/VG
Edition
FIRST EDITION
Item Price
$80.00

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NEW YORK NY: VIKING PRESS (THE). NF/VG. PUB 1948. FIRST EDITION. HARDCOVER. BOOK HAS NAME AND DATE ON THE FRONT FREE ENDPAPER. D.J. IS WORN AT THE CORNERS WITH SHALLOW CHIPPING AT THE SPINE ENDS, LIGHT RUB AT THE SPINE EDGES, WHITE SPINE TITLES TANNED, AND NOT PRICE-CLIPPED. A VERY NICE CLEAN, AND TIGHT COPY. .
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$80.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

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Alcuin Books, ABAA-ILAB
Published
1948
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$80.00

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New York: Viking, 1948. First Edition. Octavo. 306 pages. The novel is centered in the life of Major Scobie whose Catholic faith is contradicted by much of his life. He is a man whose life is enmeshed in love, in intrigue, and in evil. His conflict with himself and his questions of God who allows… Read more
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$80.00
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The Heart of the Matter (The Collected Edition, 6)

by Greene, Graham

Seller
ThriftBooks
Published
1971
Condition
Good
ISBN
9780370014432
Item Price
$78.98

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The Bodley Head Ltd, 1971. Hardcover. Good. Disclaimer:Missing dust jacket; Pages can have notes/highlighting. Spine may show signs of wear. ~ ThriftBooks: Read More, Spend Less.Dust jacket quality is not guaranteed.
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$78.98
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The Heart of the Matter

by Graham Greene

Seller
Cossel Books
Condition
VG/VG-. Yellow ink-pen mark bottom pageblock; bit of rubbing/edgwear. DJ w/ 1.5in ghosted area front; some edgwear/chips/rubbing
Item Price
$75.00

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Viking, 1948, 2nd prtng before publication. VG/VG-. Yellow ink-pen mark bottom pageblock; bit of rubbing/edgwear. DJ w/ 1.5in ghosted area front; some edgwear/chips/rubbing; spine tiny bit faded; in new Brodart protecter. Dustjacket flap has publishers price of $3.00. 000005390-X002
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$75.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by GREENE, Graham

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Bow Windows Bookshop
Published
(1948).
Item Price
$71.54

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London: William Heinemann, (1948).. First edition, 8vo, (vi), 297, (1) pp. Cloth, slightly rubbed, d.w. with loss to the spine and extremities, torn and repaired to the upper wrapper, creased and with fading to the spine.
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$71.54
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The Heart of the Matter

by Graham Greene

Seller
Rooke Books
Published
1948
Condition
Good
Edition
First edition
Item Price
$64.38

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Description:
Surrey: William Heinemann Ltd, 1948. First edition. Cloth. Good. 7.5" by 5". None. A first edition of the novel by Graham Greene. Greene draws on his experiences in Africa in this story of a man undergoing crises of duty, morals and faith. In a cloth binding. No dustcover. Externally, smart. Some rubbing to boards, particularly edges of spine.… Read more
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$64.38
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Heart Of The Matter

by Graham Greene

Seller
Anybook Ltd
Published
2009
ISBN
9780099478423
Item Price
$65.67

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Vintage Books, 2009. This is an ex-library book and may have the usual library/used-book markings inside.This book has soft covers. In poor condition, suitable as a reading copy.
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$65.67
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

Seller
BookRanger
Published
1948
Edition
First Edition
Item Price
$60.00

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Description:
Hardcover. William Heinemann Ltd., London (1948). Good condition/ No DJ. Navy cloth boards show moderate shelf wear. Corners intact but softened; top front cover shows most wear. Minor visible creases to front board and spine, but no structural damage. Slight fraying to head spine end; more pronounced at tail. "First Published 1948" and "Printed in Great Britain at the Windmill… Read more
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$60.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Greene, Graham

Seller
Inklings & Yarnspinners
Published
1948
Condition
Good, 1st edition with unclipped d/j, text block firm, pages unmarked but considerable foxing on edges
Edition
1st
Item Price
$57.23

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Description:
London: Heinemann, 1948. 1st. h/b. Good, 1st edition with unclipped d/j, text block firm, pages unmarked but considerable foxing on edges. 12mo (190 x 130 / 7_"" x 5""). Scobie, a police officer serving in a war-time West African state, is distrusted, being scrupulously honest and immune to bribery. But then he falls in love, and in doing… Read more
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$57.23
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The heart of the matter

by Greene, Graham

Seller
Jon Brown
Condition
Used - Good
Item Price
$57.23

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The Book Society. Hardcover. Used - Good. No inscriptions, pages good, No dust jacket, Hardback. Published byThe Reprint Society, 1950.
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$57.23
image of What's Happened to Politics ?

What's Happened to Politics ?

by Rae, Bob (SIGNED)

Seller
Lower Beverley Better Books
Published
2015
Condition
Fine +
Edition
1st Edition, 3rd Printing
ISBN
9781501103414
Item Price
$55.00

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Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2015. Book, " . . . clearly sets out the big questions Canadians should be asking their leaders, their elected representatives, and themselves." (front flap) 139 pp. plus: Further Reading, Acknowledgments, Index. 159 pp. in toto. Spine ends have very slight wear, ow book is as new.… Read more
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$55.00
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The Heart of the Matter

by Graham Greene

Seller
The Title Page ABAA
Published
1948
Condition
Poor
Edition
Limited
Item Price
$55.00

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Description:
New York: The Viking Press, 1948. Gray buckram with gilt spine lettering and gilt and red decorations. Spine lettering not visible. Cloth heavily worn. Top edge stained red, other edges a little foxed and soiled. One of 750 copies for the "Friends" of the Viking Press.. Limited. Cloth. Poor/No Jacket. 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Trade.… Read more
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$55.00