Death in the Afternoon.

New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1932 Stock Code: 126539
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Inscribed by the author to one of the owners of the iconic 21 Club

First edition, first printing, presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, "To Bob Kriendler with best wishes from his friend Ernest Hemingway". The recipient was Robert "Bob" Kriendler, the youngest of the four Kriendler brothers who ran the iconic speakeasy 21 Club, one of Hemingway's favourite New York watering holes. In 1931, Hemingway was famously caught in the kitchen having sex with gangster Legs Diamond's girlfriend.

Bob Kriendler persuaded his brother Jack, one of the club's founders, to stock the books of their famous author-customers. "The books were put on sale at the tobacco counter. Often, a customer who'd seen a book there discovered that the author was in the club, so he could depart not only with a good meal under his belt but also a signed first edition under his arm" (Kriendler, p. 69). Kriendler was able to build a collection of first editions and manuscripts "of some of the country's greatest writers who found time (often a lot of time) to spend in '21'" (ibid.). Most of these formed the basis of the Robert Kriendler Collection, which he donated to his alma mater, Rutgers.

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Octavo. Original black cloth, titles and decoration to spine gilt, facsimile signature to front board gilt. With dust jacket. Housed in a custom marbled flat-back box.


Colour frontispiece by Juan Gris with tissue-guard, 64 black and white plates.


Front hinge cracked but holding, a very good, bright copy in the slightly ragged and chipped dust jacket, expertly stabilised at folds, preserving the distinctive front panel.


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