Only a handful of writers who began over 130 years ago are still read by an ever-increasing family of readers. Grace Livingston Hill is one of those writers.
Her writing is often seen very differently by those who read it—and that's why it endures. It is at times a Christian life lesson, a romance, first-hand history, or even an outreach tool. The impact is as varied as the readers themselves.
No matter how we read Grace's books, they inspire us to reach new heights.
Grace's work and its simple message continue into a new century, always reminding us that God is the ultimate answer to every question—even in today's complicated world.
If you're searching for Grace Livingston Hill Books, you're not alone!
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That's a good question!
The "First Edition" of a book is a treasure that many collectors search for and often the price is higher based on that status. But is the book you're looking at really a "first" or is the bookseller mistaken? Here are a few things you need to know before buying a GLH first edition.
Check our book lists for Grace's first edition publishers. Nearly every Grace Livingston Hill book was published first by J.B. Lippincott Co. Books prior to 1908's "Marcia Schuyler" were released by various publishers as Grace established herself as a writer and there were a few later books published by Harper & Brothers and Revell. The early first editions are rare and can be costly - often $100 or more. Grace would be surprised at how much her first editions go for these days!
Grosset & Dunlap books, regardless of what the bookseller tells you, are NOT first editions. When J.B. Lippincott Co. felt that a book's profitability had ended for them, they sold the rights (and often the actual printing plates) to Grosset & Dunlap, a reprint publishing house. If you're a reader of other vintage authors, you'll note that many authors' books were reprinted by G&D.
Take a look at this "disclaimer" on the early Grosset & Dunlap edition of White Orchids pictured. "The issuance of this new edition at a reduced price is made possible by (a) use of the same plates made for the original edition: (b) acceptance by the author of a reduced royalty." This statement alone proves that this is not the "original edition" of the book.
Don't be fooled by the copyright date. All vintage GLH books carry the original date of copyright. However, that doesn't necessarily mean the copy you're holding is that old. Grosset & Dunlap published Grace's work for decades, even after her death. If there's a dust jacket, you can often spot a later edition by the clothes worn by the characters on the cover. If the styles don't match the copyright date, it's a much later reprint and worth less than an early reprint.
Just because it says "First Edition" in the book, that doesn't necessarily make it a first edition. The Pinebrook Book Club editions illustrate this well. Side by side, they are nearly identical to the Lippincott edition. Like the G&D reprints, the Pinebrook edition is printed with the same plates as the original.
However, there is something unusual that confuses booksellers and readers alike—both claim to be first editions! Since there can only be one first edition, Lippincott wins the battle. They actually contracted with Grace for the book. The Pinebrook edition may be the first (and last) edition for their club members, but it's not really a first edition—despite what the page says. Can you tell which book is which?
The moral of the story is: be sure about what you're buying. Remember, most booksellers don't have time to become experts on the various editions of every author they sell, so before you plunk down a large amount of cash for a first edition GLH book, be sure what you're getting is the real thing.
Still wondering? The Lippincott edition is the upper image and the Pinebrook edition is below. If you can't tell the difference, neither can the bookseller, so be careful. Happy GLH Book Hunting!
If you're a collector of vintage Grace Livingston Hill books, you may not realize that she published five books under another name—Marcia Macdonald. As we begin our 2013 reading list, one of the winter "bonus books" is Found Treasure—a novel by Marcia Macdonald.
Before the internet made things easy for collectors, these books often went overlooked in their J.B. Lippincott first editions. Early reprints by Grosset & Dunlap list both names, with either Marcia's or Grace's name in parentheses as you'll see in the dust jacket at left. As time went on, later reprints simply listed Grace Livingston Hill as the author to avoid confusion.
In case you didn't know, Marcia Macdonald is the maiden name of Grace's mother. Surely this was a loving tribute to her author-mother's memory. If you've never read one of the books she wrote, look for Mrs. C.M. Livingston, the name she used on her own literary works. You can read more about her and take a look at her books here.
There may be two reasons for this series of books.
One might be that these stories were considered a bit "mild" and more suited to a younger audience—still good enough to publish, but not for the audience her publisher counted on for regular readership. The books were contracted as "novels for girls" by J.B. Lippincott Company to be published under the name Marcia Macdonald. GLH readers would have no reason to wonder why the style and content had suddenly become simpler in these books.
Another possibility might just be that there were too many good stories for too short a time period. An oversaturated market can potentially hurt sales, so why not publish them under another name? It's happened before—think of Fanny Crosby, the famous hymn-writer. She wrote hundreds and hundreds of hymns, but many were published using one of over a hundred different pen names. The story goes that people just wouldn't believe that so much material could come from one writer, so they simply used one of the other names instead.
Which is true? Maybe parts of both? Maybe something entirely different? The mystery continues as we continue to search for clues in order to solve it.
The Honor Girl
Out of the Storm