A Novel. Translated by Winifred Roy.
First English-language edition, first impression. Presentation copy inscribed to the front free endpaper by Nabokov’s agent, Otto Klement: “To Margaret Anne—although not a book for children. O. Klement.” Camera Obscura was the first of Nabokov’s works to be translated into English and one of two famously scarce and cheaply produced books issued by the hapless firm of John Long. It sold poorly and was remaindered in red paper boards. Nabokov greatly disliked Winifred Roy’s translation and its poor quality “prompted Nabokov to undertake translating his next novel, Despair, by himself, a major step in his decision to become an English-language writer” (Boyd, Russian Years, p. 446).
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Octavo. Original black cloth, titles to spine and front board gilt. Spine gently cocked and gilding to spine slightly darkened, spine ends, corners, and top edge of rear board a bit bumped, boards mildly rubbed, prelims and endmatter lightly foxed. Otherwise an excellent copy.