FLEMING, Ian (1908-1964). Live and Let Die. London: Jonathan Cape, 1954.
8° (190 x 125mm). (Edges lightly yellowed and with a few spots.) Original black cloth, lettered and stamped in gilt, original dust-jacket (spine ends chipped, back panel browned). Provenance: Ian Fleming (presentation inscription to:) -- 'Robert' (?Harling, 1910-1998, designer, novelist, editor) -- Marcel Kauffman (small stamp under front flap dated 1 July 1963).
FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY FLEMING: 'To Robert These fragrant pages. From the author. 1954.' The recipient is almost certainly Fleming's good friend Robert Harling: his copies of Casino Royal, Diamonds are Forever, and You Only Live Twice all had similar inscriptions addressed to Robert, with a humorous sentiment, and without full signature (see Christie's, 1 November 2006, lot 295, and Christie's, 13 September 2009, lot 143). Fleming and Harling met in 1939 when the former was already in naval intelligence; during the course of the war Fleming brought Harling into various posts, including '30 Assault Unit' which operated in the front line to collect enemy equipment, intelligence and codebooks before these could be destroyed. The two were close until Fleming's death. 'Harling was Ian's favourite companion when his Scottish melancholy played up and he needed a lift after a difficult morning at the Sunday Times. Ian would ring and demand "a superficial lunch" at Scott's... Harling talked to him amusingly about women and writers and architecture, and Ian returned to work spiritually and intellectually refreshed' (Lycett). An excellent association copy of the second Bond novel, in a good example of the first issue dust-jacket, with the price '10s.6d. net' and blurb on the front flap, and without any credit for the jacket design. Biondi and Pickard, p.41; Campbell (2007) A1; Lycett Ian Fleming pp. 176-7 and passim.