THE SCOTT GREENBAUM COLLECTION OF LITERARY FIRST EDITIONS
The first Bond — James Bond
Casino Royale, 1953
FLEMING, Ian (1908-1964). Casino Royale. London: Jonathan Cape, 1953.
An exceptionally fine copy of the first edition of the first James Bond novel. This copy is the best we have seen of a rare and fragile book, Ian Fleming's first. It retains the publisher's advertisement slip for the periodical Now & Then and was evidently never read. Perhaps the first owner was more impressed by Ian Fleming's brother Peter, who was "the more famous author," according to the book's jacket. 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).
Octavo. Publisher's black cloth lettered in red; grey dust jacket decorated in red and yellow after the author's design (mildest even toning to jacket, few light spots to endleaves and publisher's slip). Custom box.