SAINT-EXUPERY, Antoine de.
Flight to Arras.
Translated from the French by Lewis Galantière. Illustrated by Bernard Lamotte.
First English language edition, first printing. Signed by the author on the half-title, and on the same page inscribed by the illustrator Bernard Lamotte, “a le Huédé, avec toute mon amitié, Bernard Lamotte”. The recipient was Hervé le Huédé, captain of the French luxury liner Normandy, which made its final voyage across the Atlantic in August 1939 and was stranded in New York at the outbreak of war in September. Le Huédé was promoted when the original captain Stephen Payen returned to France, and he served aboard the docked ship until it was requisitioned by the US government in 1941. Saint-Exupery and Lamotte met in art school in France, and during the early 1940s spent a great deal of time together at Lamotte’s New York studio, Le Bocal (The Fishbowl). It was here that Saint-Exupery did much of his work for The Little Prince while Lamotte completed the illustrations for this volume. Le Bocal was the social hub for a large group of French expatriates, artists, and celebrities, and it is likely that the stranded captain spent time there.
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Octavo. Original blue cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt, pictorial endpapers, top edge dyed blue. With the dust jacket. 12 plates by Bernard Lamotte. Spine slightly rolled. An excellent copy in the price-clipped and rubbed jacket with a few chips and closed tears and a small mark at the head of the faded spine panel.