Even in a catalog from a trusted dealer, this phrase doesn't necessarily mean what it seems to mean. A first edition refers to the first printing of a book, but even within a first edition there may be later printings that bear subtle changes from the original. The term might also be used if — either by design or by piracy — a work is, say, the first American edition of a book printed previously in England. The definition becomes even hazier when a book was first published in a country other than the author's own; French bibliographers in general do not identify such editions as firsts, but British and American ones may (Carter, 1995). Finally, a book might not bear a date, and sellers then have to make an educated assessment of which edition they hold in their hands. A number of good reference works list details of how different publishers have marked their first editions, but in some cases consulting a thorough author bibliography may be the best way to identify a book. Firsts are prized by collectors because they are presumed to match the author's intentions most closely.