New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1930.
First edition, fourth printing. Title page printed in black with falcon in blue. [xii], 267, [1, imprint] pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Hollywood, 1930: An Inscribed ‘Falcon’. Original grey cloth stamped in blue with falcon motif with some soiling, and some toning to spine, otherwise near fine condition, inscribed by the author on the front flyleaf. Bookplate of Joyce Newland Fluhr on front pastedown, bookseller ticket of the Satyr Book Shop on the rear pastedown. In 1930 dust jacket, unpriced, supplied from another copy, with Japanese tissue repair to hinges of front and rear flaps, to a three-quarter inch section of loss to bottom of front panel and to losses to head and foot of the spine, with in-coloring facsimile of letters "The Malt" from the spine title, and the lower edges of the Borzoi logo. Boxed Layman A3.1.d (not seen). Item #323850
A choice copy of one of the defining novels of twentieth-century detective fiction.
Inscribed in the year of publication, when Hammet was at the peak of his form as a writer of fiction: "To Joyce, in memoriam / September 12, 1930 / Dashiell Hammett / Hollywood."
“It was to the Icelandic sagas, he said, that he owed his idea of tone in fiction, and he noted that study of the works of Henry James brought him to his conception of literary style” (ANB). The Maltese Falcon was filmed three times, and the 1941 version by John Huston (1941) established Hammett’s Sam Spade (as played by Humphrey Bogart) as an iconic private eye.
Layman notes second through sixth printings (1930) as not seen. The inside front flap of the dust jacket is unpriced and prints blurbs from seven reviews; the inside back flap (identical to the first issue) indicates that Hammett (1894-1961) “was born thirty-six years ago”.
Price: $35,000.00 Free International Delivery