Greene, The Ministry of Fear, 1943, inscribed
The Ministry of Fear. William Heinemann Ltd., 1943
8vo, FIRST EDITION, PRESENTATION COPY, INSCRIBED ("An expression of the | schizoid | for Claude-Edmonde Magny | from Graham Greene") on front free endpaper, half-title, original pale yellow cloth, spine stamped in black, collector's green morocco chemise and slipcase, boards slightly soiled
“My favourite among what I called then my ‘entertainments’” (Greene, Ways of Escape). Greene wrote it in a few months in 1942 while serving as an intelligence officer in Africa.
Claude-Edmonde Magny (real name Edmonde Vinel) was a professor of philosophy. In 1940 she began a long collaboration with the magazine Esprit under the pseudonym, writing on contemporary literary works and writers including Greene.
The inscription appears to refer to one of the key themes of the novel: the contrast between the lose innocence of childhood and the bewildering chaos of adulthood, “a savage country of strange customs and inexplicable cruelties”.
Clinton Ives Smullyan Jr. (his collection of Greene, Sotheby's, 16 December 1996, Lot 68)
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