View full screen - View 1 of Lot 16. FLEMING | Moonraker, 1955, first edition, presentation copy inscribed to Raymond Chandler.
16

FLEMING | Moonraker, 1955, first edition, presentation copy inscribed to Raymond Chandler

Estimate:

70,000

to
- 100,000 GBP

FLEMING | Moonraker, 1955, first edition, presentation copy inscribed to Raymond Chandler

FLEMING | Moonraker, 1955, first edition, presentation copy inscribed to Raymond Chandler

Estimate:

70,000

to
- 100,000 GBP

IAN FLEMING

MOONRAKER. LONDON: JONATHAN CAPE, 1955


8vo, FIRST EDITION, FIRST IMPRESSION, PRESENTATION COPY INSCRIBED BY THE AUTHOR TO RAYMOND CHANDLER ("To | Field Marshall Chandler | from | Private Ian Fleming | 1955") on front free endpaper, INCLUDING SOME NOTES ON THE TEXT IN THE HAND OF CHANDLER, original black cloth, lettered in silver, DUST-JACKET, collector's brown cloth chemise with red half morocco box


AN OUTSTANDING ASSOCIATION COPY inscribed to the novelist Raymond Chandler. A copy given by the creator of James Bond to the creator of Philip Marlowe.


Fleming's deferential inscription did not prevent Chandler from a critical reading of the book. On page 18, for example, he has written and underlined "all Padding". There are a couple of other notes and, on the rear flap of the dust-jacket, Chandler has scribbled a few additional notes (about 24 words in total).


Fleming had long admired Chandler’s work. They first met over dinner in May 1955, shortly after the publication of Moonraker on 7 April, and with Diamonds are Forever complete in manuscript form.


“Fleming treated him with the deference he reserved for very few. Chandler had arrived in England a month before and was just emerging from a long spell of drinking which had followed the death of his beloved wife Cissie at La Jolla in California the previous year... Two more different characters than the creators of Philip Marlowe and James Bond it would be hard to find, but since that dinner... they had met on several occasions and got on well together...” (Pearson, The Life of Ian Fleming, p. 255). Fleming inscribed Moonraker to Chandler in one of these occasions in 1955, conceivably at their first meeting.


The meeting of Fleming and Chandler was of signficant importance to Fleming's literary career: "...the friendship between the two men... was to prove of importance to Fleming and also to James Bond. Indeed, but for Chandler it is more than likely that Fleming would have finished off his hero for good at the big desk at Goldeneye the following year. For when he came back to London from Jamaica with the manuscript of Diamonds Are Forever in March 1955, Fleming had had enough of his creation... However good the reviews of Moonraker had been when it was published that April [1955], and however much better he privately believed Diamonds Are Forever to be, he seems to have convinced himself that he had gone as far with writing about James Bond as he ever would or could..." (Pearson, p. 256). Chandler encouraged Fleming and praised Live and Let Die (which Fleming must have sent Chandler) and also wrote an endorsement for the book.


"The interest and support of Raymond Chandler had come at a crucial moment for Ian Fleming, and the brief meetings between them in May and early June, even before the testimonial was written, had an electric effect on the attitude of Fleming to his writing and his hero... Chandler's approval... quickly seems to have changed the whole attitude of Fleming to his hero and his work and to have made him decide that his next book, instead of finishing Bond for good, would go to the opposite extreme. It would be different from any other book he had written, it would have depth and seriousness. Bond would become a 'rounded character' like Chandler's hero, Philip Marlowe..." (Pearson, pp. 262-263).


Without Raymond Chandler, the James Bond series would be very short indeed.


See also lots 37 and 98.


This is one of two variant states, here printed on thicker paper stock and with the word “shoot” on page 10 correctly printed. The entire first impression (containing both “shoot” and “shoo” states) was issued on 7 April 1955.


LITERATURE:

Gilbert A3a (1.2 - 1.3)


PROVENANCE:

The Library of Raymond Chandler; Sotheby's, New York, The Maurice F. Neville Collection of Modern Literature, Part II, 16 November 2004, lot 514

minor browning and spotting, slight marks to binding, dust-jacket soiled and slightly browned with small chips at extremities


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