11 October 2002
NABOKOV, Vladimir. Lolita. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1959.
8o. Original black cloth; printed dust jacket (few short tears, few tape repairs on verso). Provenance: GRAHAM GREENE (presentation inscription).
FIRST ENGLISH EDITION. A VERY FINE ASSOCIATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY NABOKOV TO GRAHAM GREENE on the front free endpaper: "To Graham Greene whose courageous support of this book will be always gratefully remembered by Vladimir Nabokov Nov. 2, 1959. London."
Nabokov's son (and executor) Dimitri, in an unpublished letter, wrote of Greene: "He was the first prominent English man of letters to stand up publicly for Lolita, putting outraged nincompoops (most of them had not read the book and vaguely imagined it was 'dirty') in their place and setting off a storm that rumbled all the way to parliament... While Father did not believe in reciprocal public courtesies among writers, he was touched by Greene's comprehension and courage, and never forgot."
As detailed in the previous lot, Greene's early support of Lolita helped Nabokov win public support for his book, and in so doing helped bring about this edition. Juliar A28.3.
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