11 December 2019
FLEMING, Ian (1908-1964). Live and Let Die. London: Jonathan Cape, 1954.
First edition, first impression, first issue, presentation copy inscribed by Fleming to Noël Coward: ‘To Noël / Who encourages. / from / The author / 1954.’ Written before the first James Bond book, Casino Royale, had been published, Live and Let Die is the 'breath-taking hunt for secret treasure that takes Bond to Harlem, Florida and Jamaica', the last of which was Fleming's adopted home. Like all fourteen Bond novels, it was written at Fleming’s Goldeneye estate on the Jamaican coast, where he counted Noël Coward as a neighbour. Coward, inspired to build his own Jamaican retreat by a visit to Goldeneye in 1948, was Fleming’s closest friend on the island and it was with his great encouragement that Fleming began writing the Bond novels that made him famous. When Fleming married Ann in 1952, Coward was one of two wedding guests and in the same year he was made godfather to their newborn son Caspar. Gilbert A2a (1.1).
Octavo (189 x 125mm). (A few minor spots to edges, endpapers and a few leaves.) Original black cloth, upper cover stamped in gilt with an Edward IV gold rose noble coin, spine lettered in gilt, original dust-jacket, first state before the additional text to the front flap (rear panel lightly browned, slight wear at head of spine panel). Provenance: Noël Coward (1899-1973; author’s presentation inscription, bookplate).
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