London: Jonathan Cape, 1953.
First edition. 218 pp. 1 vols. 8vo. INSCRIBED TO FLEMING'S BROTHER-IN-LAW. Publisher's black cloth, stamped in red. Slight lean, a few trifling stains on covers, in first state dust-jacket without Sunday Times Review on front flap (light creasing to spine ends and some toning to rear panel). In a custom red half morocco clamshell box. Gilbert A1a (1.1). Item #316940
Presentation copy of the first edition of the first James Bond novel, inscribed on the flyleaf by Fleming to his brother-in-law Hugo Charteris, "To Hugo, This sitting bird, from, the author."
Charteris (1922-1970), a novelist and screenwriter, was the brother of Fleming's wife Ann. He disliked Fleming, identifying his "crude mixture of nihilism and opportunism" (Lycett, Ian Fleming, p. 205), though he supported Fleming and Ann's decision to marry. His reaction to Fleming's first novel was decidely negative, and perhaps motivated by professional jealousy. From a letter by Charteris to his sister Mary Rose: "Ian's thriller starts well … but ends as the most disgusting thing I've ever seen in print — torture such as Japs and Huns eschewed as not cricket, I always knew he was neurotic and tangled. But it's been reprinted already — which won't happen to my book" (quoted in Lycett, p. 244).
Price: $120,000.00 Free International Delivery