Moonraker.London: Jonathan Cape, 1955 Stock Code: 138007
Presentation copy to the wife of his employerFirst edition, first impression. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper "To Edith, Cette tranche de vie! Ian 1955". Edith was Marie Edith, Viscountess Kemsley (1888-1976), second wife of the newspaper baron Viscount Kemsley (1883-1968). It was Viscount Kemsley who employed Fleming as the foreign manager of his Sunday Times newspaper, and enabled him to write the Bond novels by giving him generous paid leave. Throughout their working relationship, Kemsley regarded Fleming as a favoured son. Although by no means a senior figure in the Kemsley organization, Fleming was the only person in the building who would call Kemsley and his wife by their first names - as shown here, with his inscription of "Edith" - and frequently saw them both socially. It was a mutually beneficial relationship: Fleming soon brought the ailing Sunday Times glamour, social cachet and credibility, and in return was given the means and opportunity to pursue his lifestyle with little inconvenience, ultimately leading to the creation of James Bond. We have also handled copies of Moonraker inscribed by Fleming to Viscount Kemsley himself, and to his son Anthony.
Octavo. Original black cloth (type B, no priority), spine and front cover lettered in silver. With dust jacket. Housed in a black quarter morocco solander box by The Chelsea Bindery, spine lettered in gilt.
A sharp, near-fine copy with a couple of minor marks to the boards, in a very good dust jacket, lightly age toned but without sunning to spine panel, 2 cm split at head of front fold, lightly nicked to the corners, not price-clipped.
Gilbert A3a (1.3 - one of two variant states, here with "shoot" on p. 10, issued simultaneously).
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