Tropic Of Cancer

by Miller, Henry

Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer is one of the most notoriously and frequently censored books in the history of American literature. In a combination of autobiography and fiction, the novel centers of Miller’s own life as a struggling writer in Paris in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Tropic of Cancer is written in the first person and lacks linear organization, two of Miller’s most favored techniques. Some chapters are narratives about Miller’s friends and workplaces, and others are stream-of-consciousness-style reflections, but all of the chapters touch on the sexual exploits and general low-life ruthlessness in which the author had engaged at the time.

Tropic of Cancer was first published by Obelisk Press, a French publisher of soft pornography, in Paris in 1934. Shortly thereafter, the novel was banned in the US and later tried for charges of obscenity, a trial that challenged American pornography laws at the time. In 1961, the ban of Tropic of Cancer was lifted, and later that year, Grove Press published the first US edition of the novel, but only after the firm’s Barney Rosset offered Miller a sizeable advance and promised to defend the author in any future legal battles regarding the publication. Grove Press’s edition of Tropic of Cancer sold over 1 million copies by the end of 1961… and was the subject of about 60 lawsuits as well, one of which involved the American Civil Liberties Union.

All of this hullabaloo makes one wonder what the reactions might have been if Miller had decided to go with the novel’s working title, Crazy Cock — which was, ironically, far more modest than the published version. Regardless, the novel’s 1970 film adaptation, directed by Joseph Strick, received an X rating (meaning no one 17 and under admitted). Today, Tropic of Cancer finds itself ranked 50th on Modern Library’s “100 Best” English-language novels of the 20th century and 59th on The Guardian’s list of the 100 best novels.

First Edition Identification

Obelisk Press first published Tropic of Cancer in Paris in 1934. True first editions states “First Published September 1934” on the copyright page. Maurice Girodias, who would later become famous as the leading French publisher of erotic literature, designed the artwork of the novel’s soft cover, featuring a giant crab holding a naked woman in its pinchers. With an original print run of 1,000 copies, first editions of Tropic of Caner are rare. Signed copies have sold for upwards of $10,000.

Other Collectible or Notable Editions

Grove Press published the first US edition of Tropic of Cancer in 1961. The 100 numbered copies of the limited issue release state “First Printing” on the copyright page as well as the original price of $7.50 on the dust jacket. Signed copies of this edition have sold for upwards of $2,000.

…But before the first US edition was the first pirated American edition. In 1940, Medusa published Tropic of Cancer, printing then novel in Mexico and then illegally distributing it in the US. Bound in green cloth, signed copies of this edition have sold for upwards of $1,500.

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TROPIC OF CANCER
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TROPIC OF CANCER

by MILLER HENRY

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Used
Edition
First Edition
Published
1934
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Leicester, GBR
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SGD 8,152.90

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Paris: Obelisk, 1934. First Edition. (Paris: Obelisk Press 1934). First Edition. Rebound in near contemporary red cloth (with no lettering to indicate the title of the book). Ownership name in ink to both the front and rear end-papers. Original printed front and rear wrappers (featuring a giant crab holding a naked woman in… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

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Used - Poor
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Later printing
Published
1954
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Brossard, Quebec, CAN
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Obelisk, Paris, 1954. Later printing. Condition: Poor, edge and corner wear, front cover detached, small chunk missing from spine cover, nicks and creasing. A reading or study copy only. Now hailed as an American classic Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller's masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for twenty-seven years after its first publication in Paris in 1934. Only a… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer [with] Tropic of Capricorn - Both signed, located and dated by the Author
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Tropic of Cancer [with] Tropic of Capricorn - Both signed, located and dated by the Author

by Miller, Henry

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Used
Published
1963-4
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Harrogate, North Yorkshire, GBR
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SGD 4,720.10

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London: Calder, 1963-4. Both first edition, first printings published by Calder between 1963-64. Both volumes are very good+ (Capricorn with moderate foxing to the prelims and edges). Both signed on the ffep by the Author and dated and located (London 1969). A bright pair and exceptionally rare to find Miller's masterpiece signed, especially in first edition form. … Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer
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Tropic of Cancer

by MILLER, Henry (1891-1980)

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Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, GBR
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London: John Calder, 1963. [Modern Literature] SIGNED FIRST UK EDITION. Octavo (21 x 14cm), pp.[6] 318. SIGNED by the author in black ink to title page; possibly a secretarial hand. Publisher's grey cloth with gilt titles to spine. With the blue dust-jacket, priced at 25s. Large blue ink ownership to fly-leaf. Toning and spotting to edges and endpapers. Boards… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer

by Miller, Henry

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Used - Fair
Published
1938
Binding
Softcover
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Spray, Oregon, USA
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Paris, France: The Obelisk Press, 1938. Softcover. Fair. 8vo 8" - 9" tall. A stated Fourth Printing, published first in 1934, then reprinted in September 1935, March 1938, and June of 1938. Preface by Anais Nin. A perfectly serviceable reference copy; nothing fancy, but complete, well worn and toned of wraps, in gate-fold, half-inch splits thereto at… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer

by Miller, Henry

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Used - Very Good
Published
1961
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Hardcover
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Portland, Oregon, USA
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SGD 963.55

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New York: Grove Press, 1961. Hardcover. Very Good. First American Edition, Fourth Printing. Near Fine in a Very Good dust jacket with price intact. Signed on the front free end paper by Henry Miller, inscribed to previous owner. Topstain shows a few small spots of discoloration. Faint wear to edges of spine cloth. The dust jacket shows rubbing… Read more about this item
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TROPIC OF CANCER
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TROPIC OF CANCER

by MILLER HENRY

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Published
1935
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Leicester, GBR
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SGD 1,201.48

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Paris: Obelisk, 1935. This is the Reprint from September 1935 (the book was first published in September 1934). A softcover issued in plain wrappers (without a D/W). A VG+ copy. Second Printing of Miller's first and most famous novel. This printing consisted of 500 copies; with most of the first printing confiscated by the censors. Precedes all American first… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer
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Tropic of Cancer

by Miller, Henry

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Used - Very Good
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Fair
Edition
First UK Edition, First Printing
Published
1963
Binding
Hardcover
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HINDHEAD, Surrey, GBR
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London: John Calder. Errata slip present on the verso of the half-title page informing of the transposing of pages 259 and 288 making this one of the scarce first-issue copies. Minor wear only to the book, no inscriptions. The dust jacket has general wear and creasing with small loss to the top of the spine, not price clipped. .… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer
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Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

Condition
Used - Good
Jacket Condition
Good
Edition
first edition U.S.
Published
1961
Binding
Hardcover
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Uncasville, Connecticut, USA
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SGD 97.66

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first American printing hardcover edition in dust jacket shown (Grove Press 1961); unmarked text, prior owner front paste-down; bookplate removal scuff front paste-down; little age tone to text pages, thin staining to text block fore-edge; tight bind; clean cover bright titling, edge wear at spine ends and cover corners; dj has 2 scratches to front panel, shelf rub but no… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer SIGNED
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Tropic of Cancer SIGNED

by Henry Miller

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Used
Edition
First American Edition, First Printing
Published
1961
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Clarence, New York, USA
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SGD 2,064.75

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New York: Grove Press, Inc, 1961. First American Edition, First Printing. Signed by the author Henry Miller on a tipped in page from a signed limited edition, therefore the authenticity is guaranteed. First American edition, first printing - with "First Printing" stated on the copyright page. Measures approximately 8.5" x 5.75", with 318 numbered pages. This book… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer
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Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

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Used - Very Good Indeed
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Good
Edition
First edition
Published
1963
Binding
Cloth
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BATH, Somerset, GBR
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SGD 240.30

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London: John Calder, 1963 . First edition. Cloth. Very Good Indeed/Good. 6.5" by 5.5". None. 'Notorious for its candid sexuality', this is the first UK edition of this important work of twentieth century literature from controversial American author Henry Miller. The first UK edition, first impression of this work, with tipped in errata slip to title page, noting… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

Condition
Used - Good+
Edition
First Edition
Published
1987
ISBN
9780394623757
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Brossard, Quebec, CAN
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Grove, New York, 1987. First printing in this Evergreen edition. Condition: Good plus, light edge wear and corner bumps, creasing at spine, nicks along spine, light nicks at top of first few pages. Now hailed as an American classic Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller's masterpiece, was banned as obscene in this country for twenty-seven years after its first publication in Paris… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer
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Tropic of Cancer

by Miller, Henry

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Used - good
Edition
first
Published
1934
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Hardcover
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Beverly Hills, California, USA
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Paris, France: Obelisk Press, 1934. first. hardcover. good. First edition. Preface by Anais Nin. Book is rebound. Book good, copyright page is missing, wear, bookplate attached to front paste-down, front and rear gutter have black tape, verso of front free end paper has previous owner's name and date, parts of pages 321-323 were repaired, verso of title page… Read more about this item
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Tropic Of Cancer
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Tropic Of Cancer

by Henry Miller

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Used - Very Good
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Fair
Edition
first edition / first printing
Published
1961
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Suwanee, Georgia, USA
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SGD 206.46

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Tropic Of Cancer by Henry Miller first edition / first printing hardcover Publisher: Grove Press, 1961 Condition: book - Very Good dust jacket - Fair - some wear, chipping, creases
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SGD 206.46
Tropic of Cancer

Tropic of Cancer

by MILLER, Henry

Condition
Used - Very Good
Published
1939
Binding
Softcover
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1
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Gloucester City, New Jersey, USA
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SGD 1,307.68

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Paris: The Obelisk Press, 1939. Softcover. Very Good. Fifth printing. Printed self-wrappers. Pages browned, a modest tear on the front wrap and first leaf, a nice and pleasing, very good copy with no restoration. Miller's best known work, an acknowledged classic detailing with then-unprecedented sexual candor his expatriate experience in Paris. It was banned for decades in the… Read more about this item
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SGD 1,307.68
TROPIC OF CANCER

TROPIC OF CANCER

by Miller, Henry

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Used
Published
1940
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Middletown, Maryland, USA
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SGD 688.25

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New York: Medusa, 1940. First U.S. edition -- albeit an unauthorized one -- of Miller's first and most famous book. One of only 1000 copies in the first-issue binding of light green linen boards with gilt spine lettering. According to Shifreen & Jackson, an overrun of 200 to 500 unbound sheets were printed for later distribution, accounting for the… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer (Original poster for the 1970 film)

Tropic of Cancer (Original poster for the 1970 film)

by Henry Miller (novel); Joseph Strick (director, screenwriter); Betty Botley (screenwriter); Rip Torn, James T. Callahan, Ellen Burstyn, David Baur (starring)

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Used
Published
1970
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1
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Baltimore, Maryland, USA
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SGD 378.54

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Hollywood: Paramount Pictures / Tropic Film Productions, 1970. Original US one sheet poster for the 1970 X-rated film. Based on Miller's 1934 groundbreaking novel of life and love in Paris, a book initially banned in the US. Miller (Torn) and his wife Ellen (Burstyn) dally in France's finer things, while he tries teaching English at a school… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

Condition
Used - Very Good
Edition
1st Flamingo 60s Classic
Published
2001
Binding
Paperback
ISBN
9780007115204
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1
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east Sussex, Aberdeen, GBR
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SGD 10.30

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London: Flamingo. Paperback. Tropic of Cancer. New and unread. 'Tropic of Cancer is a ranting, randy book carried along by a deep, sensual enjoyment of living' (Sunday Times). 309 pp. (We carry a wide selection of titles in The Arts, Theology, History, Politics, Social and Physical Sciences. academic and scholarly books and Modern First Editions ,and all types of… Read more about this item
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Tropic of Cancer
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Tropic of Cancer

by Henry Miller

Condition
Used - Good-
Published
June 1971
ISBN
9780394177601
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Oakmont, Pennsylvania, USA
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SGD 5.51

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The cover has some wear but is still a readable copy.
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Tropic of Cancer

by Miller, Henry

Condition
Used - Fine unmarked; in VeryGood jacket w small taped tear.
Edition
Reprint. distrib by Bookthrift.
Published
c1961
Binding
Hardcover in shiny black pebbled boards w gilt spine titling; in blue/white jacket.
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1
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Nevada City, California, USA
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SGD 34.41

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New York: Grove Press, c1961. Reprint. distrib by Bookthrift.. Hardcover in shiny black pebbled boards w gilt spine titling; in blue/white jacket.. Fine unmarked; in VeryGood jacket w small taped tear.. Modern masterpiece. Nice bright crisp HB copy in bright jacket. 5-3/4 x 8-1/2, 318 pp
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SGD 34.41