The Hand of Mary Constable.

William Heinemann, 1964. Octavo. Original black cloth, spine lettered in gilt with titles in orange compartment, publisher's motif blocked in blind to rear board. With dust jacket. Housed in custom blue quarter morocco solander case. A very good copy, extremities rubbed, edges foxed, light offsetting to endpapers, in like dust jacket, edges rubbed and nicked, with closed tear of 20 mm to head of spine. First UK edition, first impression, association copy, inscribed by both Gallico and Fleming. With the author's presentation inscription to the front free endpaper; "Dear Ian - / Never mind! If you / find this tiresome there's always / Fanny Hill! / affectionately / Paul" [underlined]. Additionally inscribed beneath by Fleming: "Passed on to / Elizabeth / from / Ian Fleming" [underlined]. The recipient was a nursemaid to Ian Fleming during the final months of his life; from June 1964 he was suffering from pulmonary thrombosis, which was accelerated by a cold he had caught while playing a round of golf in the rain, during which he had refused to change his soaking clothes. At this time, he was the captain elect of the Royal St George Golf Club in Sandwich, Kent, a position he would never fulfil. As a result, Fleming was admitted for treatment at King Edward VII's Hospital for Officers in Marylebone, and subsequently spent several weeks convalescence in Kent. He then moved along the coast to Brighton for further recuperation and was assigned a carer, Elizabeth, whom he obviously had an affection for, inscribing her a copy of his latest James Bond novel You Only Live Twice, also giving her this book with both inscriptions, being among the very last books he would have signed. Ian Fleming died on 12 August 1964. Fleming sent the manuscript of his debut James Bond novel to the American writer Paul Gallico (1897-1976), whom he had met in the course of his work at The Sunday Times. Gallico was happy to give 007 his first literary endorsement: "The book is a knockout". In the 1940s and 1950s Gallico was a popular author of slick thrillers and pulp fiction in the Fleming style, with titles such as Thief is an Ugly Word and Dames Mean Trouble. He emerged as a talented sportswriter and shared Fleming's interests in golf and fencing. In the 1960s Gallico wrote an introduction to Ian Fleming's omnibus volume Gilt-Edged Bonds. His most famous novel, The Poseidon Adventure, was published in 1969. This copy is from the significant Ian Fleming collection of Martin Schøyen (b.1940), with his bookplate. Schøyen's private collection of manuscripts, which span all cultures and all time periods, is one of the largest and most comprehensive of its kind. Item #156008

The Schøyen Collection No. 226.

Price: £9,750.00