11 October 2002
FLEMING, Ian. On Her Majesty's Secret Service. London: Jonathan Cape, 1963.
8o. Original black boards, decorated in silver; pictorial dust jacket (minor rubbing to edges). Provenance: John Hayward (presentation inscription).
FIRST EDITION. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED TO ONE OF HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS, JOHN HAYWARD, on the front free endpaper: "To John To pick holes in! from Ian."
John Hayward was one of Fleming's closest friends. (See the note to the inscription of Casino Royal, lot 93.) Fleming's inscription nicely encapsulates the respect he had for Hayward's editorial acumen. Hayward of course owned a complete run of Bond novels with presentation inscriptions by Fleming. Soon after Hayward's death, his Fleming books were offered for sale, individually, in a catalogue of the rare book dealer George Sims--a mystery novelist himself. A number of the Hayward copies are now at the Lilly Library.
Written at Goldeneye in the beginning of 1962, this novel marked Fleming's return to the traditional James Bond formula. As usual, Fleming drew upon his personal experiences for the action setting and setting of the story: the luxurious Corviglia Club, where the author and his wife stayed in Geneva, became Blofeld's Alpine hideaway in the book. A skiing trip from his youth provided (with suitable embellishments) the avalanche scene.
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