29 June 2005
FLEMING, Ian (1908-1964). Casino Royale. London: Jonathan Cape, 1953.
8o. Original black cloth-like boards, decorated and lettered in red; pictorial dust jacket after a design by Ian Fleming (very light rubbing to extremes of spine panel, othewise very fine); quarter morocco folding case with onlaid morocco panel based on dust jacket design. Provenance: Ian Munro (presentation inscription from the author); Richard Manney (his sale, Sotheby's New York, 11 October 1991, lot 145).
FIRST EDITION OF FLEMING'S FIRST JAMES BOND NOVEL. A FINE PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY FLEMING on front free endpaper: "Ian Munro from the Author." Munro was a colleague of Fleming's at the Kemsley News.
Ian Fleming's inspiration for Casino Royale was a baccarat battle Fleming played in Lisbon during the Second World War against several Portuguese men. According to one biographer, Fleming whispered at the table to his friend John Godfrey: "Just suppose these fellows were German agents -- what a coup it would be if we cleaned them out entirely!" (John Pearson, The Life of Ian Fleming, London, 1966, p. 131).
FLEMING PRESENTATION COPIES ARE SCARCE, particularly for Casino Royale, the first appeareance of Agent 007.
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