The Professional.New York: Harper & Brothers, 1958 Stock Code: 134056
First edition, first printing, presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper, "To Ruth & Alan Hilditch our good friends who have heard me talk a lot of this. Bill Heinz Xmas 1957". Alan Hilditch (1900-1971), a certified public accountant, was a graduate of Yale and "a member of the St. Elmo Society, the Yale Club and the Innis Arden Golf Club" (New York Times obituary, 30 October 1971, retrieved 19.06.19). He was a keen sportsman, involved with the swimming and track teams at the exclusive Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts, before going up to Yale.
This is Heinz's first novel, the story of young boxer Eddie Brown's quest for the middleweight championship of the world. Subsequent editions bear a foreword by Elmore Leonard.
Wilfred Charles Heinz (1915-2008) was an American sportswriter, war correspondent, journalist, and author, "the last surviving representative of a flowering of sports journalism that transpired in the pages of New York City's daily newspapers in the 1940s and '50s. Heinz and Red Smith, who had red their Hemingway, brought irony and pity to their accounts of home-run hitters and club fighters; they could make an 800-word column into a set piece that brought tears to your eyes... Red Smith reported that Hemingway called the present work the only good book he'd ever read about a fighter" (Yagoda).
Octavo. Publisher's black and green cloth, titles in gilt and red on spine, untrimmed. With the colour pictorial dust jacket.
Running man motif repeated from dust jacket to title page in simple line drawing.
A little cocked, spine softened, light spotting to boards and pastedowns edges. A very good copy, in the bright dust jacket, with slight darkening to edges, and some wear and creasing to extremities.
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