London: Jonathan Cape, 1953.
London: Jonathan Cape, 1953. First edition. First edition, first impression, in the first issue dust jacket, without the Sunday Times review on the front flap. According to Biondi and Pickard, the jacket "is genuinely rare in fresh condition", as here. Octavo. Original black boards, spine lettered in red, heart device on front cover in red, bottom edge untrimmed. With dust jacket.
A Near Fine copy in like dust jacket. Book clean and appearing unread. Dust jacket without chips or tears, but with a thin line of offsetting (mostly visible on the lower edge of the rear panel and flaps), likely from an old-style jacket protector. From the collection of Jon Gilbert, the Fleming bibliographer, with his bookplate and typed description laid in. Housed in a black quarter-leather custom clamshell.
Fleming’s first James Bond novel—where the world renowned series began. Casino Royale follows Bond as he attempts, over a game of cards, to ruin evil banker and KGB member Le Chiffre. The book also introduces the characters of Vesper Lynd and Felix Leiter. Fleming wrote the book at a furious pace—it took two months—from his estate in Jamaica. The idea from the novel came from Fleming’s own experience serving in the Naval Intelligence Division of the Admiralty during World War II. He went on a trip to Portugal which, because of its neutrality, was home to spies from both Axis and Allied powers and it’s thought Fleming lost a great deal of money playing cards against a high level German spy. The book inspired a 1967 comedy, starring David Niven, Woody Allen, and Orson Welles as well as a more faithful 2006 adaptation with Daniel Craig, Eva Green, and Mads Mikkelsen. In a contemporary review in The Daily Telegraph, John Betjeman wrote: "Ian Fleming has discovered the secret of the narrative art ...”
Biondi & Pickard 40; Gilbert A1a (1.1) Near Fine in Near Fine dust jacket. (Item #5743)