London: Jonathan Cape, 1933. [Modern fiction] FIRST EDITION. Octavo (20 x 14cm), pp.197; . Publisher's burgundy bookcloth, blocked in yellow to the spine, in the pictorial dustwrapper illustrated by Eric Fraser. 'Times Book Club' ticket to rear pastedown. A little bumped and marked, jacket with a few small nicks and tears, chipped to head and tail of spine, price-clipped; generally in very good condition. A presentable copy of the elusive original edition of the book that so gripped and impressed Ian Fleming, to the point that he urged his publisher to reprint, and even contributed a new introduction. This particular copy is from the library of the writer and crime historian Tage La Cour, with his bookplate to pastedown and a brief biography pencilled to the flyleaf. Publisher Jonathan Cape first published this tale of a corrupt eighteenth-century rake, mixed with nautical adventure and shipwreck in 1933. The book was re-issued in a New Library series in 1937 before disappearing from the public. Ian Fleming first wrote to Cape requesting a copy as early as 1949, long before his debut as the James Bond novelist. The book was so scarce that Cape forwarded their own file copy, which Fleming returned in February 1950 whilst urging the publisher to reprint. Following his success as a thriller writer himself, and after several times of asking, Cape did eventually re-issue this 'lost ' book by the shadowy, unsung author, with a brand new introduction from Fleming, intended to increase sales. Item #39902
Standard worldwide shipping and insurance is free for all items ordered directly through our website. For expedited delivery, please contact us directly. See our full terms.