NABOKOV, Vladimir. Lolita. New York: Putnam, .
8o. Original quarter cloth, spine decorated and lettered in bronze and gilt; dust jacket (minor foxing to panels). Provenance: Véra Nabokov (presentation inscription; Vladimir Nabokov's estate bookplate).
FIRST AMERICAN EDITION, with minor textual revisions. PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED BY NABOKOV TO HIS WIFE VéRA: "Verina verae Nab Aug. 1958 Ithaca" and embellished with a delicately rendered Butterfly in pale shades, on the half-title.
Johnson notes on the Butterfly (in Véra's Butterflies New York: Glenn Horowitz Bookseller, 1999 item number 85) that "it is perhaps significant that Nabokov draws this species with short hindwing tails and a hint of orange color along the wing margins. Of all the Blues Nabokov named from the West Indies, one - Pseudochrysops bornoi - was known as the Antillean Tailed Blue. It is very rare, occurring in dessert areas of Hispaniola and Puerto Rico."
Putnam's first American edition, publishing the first complete appearance of Lolita in the United States, was preceded by the first edition published in Paris by the Olympia Press (1955). Nabokov's afterword, "On a Book entitled Lolita," explains the difficulties he had in trying to publish Lolita in the United States. He first insisted the novel be brought out anonymously: "realizing how likely a mask was to betray my own cause, I decided to sign Lolita. The four American publishers, W, X, Y, Z, who in turn were offered the typescript and had their readers glance at it, were shocked by Lolita." After Putnam's publication, Nabokov returned to Europe and settled in Montreux, Switzerland, where he died in 1977. Juliar A28.2.