London: Collins, 1979; 1981; 1982. [Historical Fiction] INSCRIBED FIRST EDITIONS WITH LETTERS. Three volumes. Octavo (22 x 14cm), pp.322; pp.336; pp.346. Volume I signed by the author in blue ink to Eileen M. Cond's distinctive bookplate to fly-leaf, and with a loose autograph letter signed by the author on headed note-paper. Volume II signed by the author in blue ink to title page, with a typed letter signed by the author describing his recent heart attack, and noting an early working title for the last book in the series. Volume III inscribed by the author in blue ink to fly-leaf to 'Eileen Cond | with all good wishes | Berkely Mathers.' Publisher's yellow, red and green cloth with titles in black and gilt. Each with the dust-jacket illustrated by Johnny Pau, variously priced at £5.95, £6.95 and £7.95. Lovely crisp fine copies, with the expected toning to lower grade paper stock in volume III. An epic family saga stretching from the mid nineteenth to the mid twentieth century, set in the Far East and India during various momentous events, including the Second Opium War, the Indian Mutiny, and the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong during the Second World War. The owner of all the books, Eileen Cond, is described by the author in one of his letters here as "my earliest aficionada." Well-known as a prominent collector of modern firsts, Miss Cond was also a correspondent of Ian Fleming, and the first Secretary to the James Bond Fan Club. During the 1950s, Miss Cond ran an 18th-century royal hunting lodge converted to country house hotel at Deer Park, Honiton, Devon (hence the bookplate design), with a select clientele. Item #59059
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