Jonathan Cape, 1955. Octavo. Original black boards (Gilbert's A binding, no priority), spine and front cover lettered in silver. With dust jacket. Housed in a custom blue quarter morocco solander box. Slight lean to spine, couple of faint marks to boards and browning to free endpapers, contents clean. A near-fine copy in the excellent unclipped dust jacket, slight toning to spine panel, spotting to rear panel and browning to verso, remaining sharp and bright. First edition, first impression, second issue, presentation copy, inscribed by the author in the year of publication, "To Gomer To take his mind off the Strike! Ian 1955". This is a wonderful association: James Gomer Berry, 1st Viscount Kemsley, was a significant figure in Fleming's life. Lord Kemsley, owner of the Sunday Times amongst others, offered Fleming a job as foreign news manager of Kemsley Newspapers after the war, and enabled him to write the Bond novels by allowing an unusual clause in Fleming's contract: Fleming would take January and February as his annual paid leave, during which time he worked on his novels at Goldeneye, on Jamaica's north shore. The strike Fleming refers to in his inscription was a printer's dispute that kept the Sunday Times and the other Fleet Street-based newspapers off the presses for 26 days in March-April 1955, at an estimated cost to the industry of £3,000,000. Throughout their working relationship, Kemsley regarded Fleming as a favoured son. Although by no means a senior figure in the Kemsley organization, Fleming was the only person in the building who would call Kemsley by his first names - as seen in the inscription here - and Fleming frequently entertained Lord and Lady Kemsley with social visits. It was a mutually beneficial relationship: Fleming brought the ailing Sunday Times glamour, social cachet, and credibility, and in return was given the means and opportunity to pursue his lifestyle with little inconvenience, leading to the creation of James Bond. This copy is the second issue, with "shoot" correctly printed on p. 10; it is also from the significant Ian Fleming collection of Martin Schøyen (b.1940), with his bookplate. Schøyen's private collection of manuscripts, which span all cultures and all time periods, is one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. Item #155887
Gilbert A3a(1.2); The Schøyen Collection No. 22.
Standard worldwide shipping is free for all orders over £150. UK standard postage is free for all orders. For expedited delivery, please contact us directly. See our full terms.