Translated from the Russian by the author.
First UK edition, first impression, first issue in the black cloth. Nabokov’s second English publication was put out by the small imprint John Long who specialized in unconventional, quirky books, especially mystery, fantasy, and crime novels. They had previously published Nabokov’s Camera Obscura with very little success and fared no better with this. Both titles were remaindered in cheaper bindings and copies of either in dust jacket are rare. Of Despair there are thought to be a mere handful. With the ownership signature of Karin de Laval, dated 1937. Laval was a Swedish writer who notably translated works by Tolstoy, Moravia, and others. There are very light pencil annotations to one page which would appear to be explication of idiomatic phrases.
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Octavo. Original black cloth, titles to upper board and spine gilt. With the pictorial dust jacket. Housed in a quarter morocco black solander box by the Chelsea Bindery. Endpapers somewhat browned, spine very gently rolled but an excellent copy in the frayed and rubbed dust jacket with loss at the ends of the spine panel and a small triangular chip from the centre of the spine panel. With some neat professional repair to the folds.