First edition of the Ian Flemings first book Casino Royale which introduced the world to 007: Inscribed by Ian Fleming to Classmate and Novelist Ralph Arnold
Item Number: 98575
London: Jonathan Cape, 1953.
First edition of the first novel in Ian Fleming’s James Bond series. Octavo, original black cloth. Presentation copy, inscribed by the author on the front free endpaper, “To Ralph, We have now both reduced our remainders by one copy! Ian.” With a note of explanation by the recipient underneath, “I having told Ian, from the depths of my publishing experience, that he would be lucky if he made £200 out of this, his first thriller!! R.A.” The recipient Ralph Arnold was a novelist, historical writer and publisher who joined Constable in 1936 and was chairman from 1958 to 1962. Arnold and Fleming studied together at the Tennerhof School in Kitzbühel, Austria, and it was there that both made their first forays into story-writing. Having left Sandhurst without obtaining a commission, Fleming “was sent to ‘sort himself out’ at a quasi-finishing school for men in Kitzbühel … There, while skiing and climbing mountains, he came under the benevolent tutelage of Ernan Forbes Dennis, a former British spy turned educationalist, and his wife, Phyllis Bottome, an established novelist. Forbes Dennis brought out Fleming’s aptitude for languages and introduced him to literature, while his wife encouraged him to write his first stories.” (Oxford DNB). Near fine in a near fine first state dust jacket (without the Sunday Times review on the inner front flap) with the lightest of rubbing to the extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
Casino Royale was written by Ian Fleming in Jamaica over a period of around two months, largely from his own experiences and imagination; he also devised the artwork for the cover. "Within the first few pages Fleming had introduced most of Bond's idiosyncrasies and trademarks," which included his looks, his Bentley and his smoking and drinking habits. The full details of Bond's martini were kept until chapter seven of the book and Bond eventually named it "The Vesper", after Vesper Lynd" (Andrew Lycett). It has been filmed twice as a feature film, the first being the 1967 spoof starring David Niven, and later as the twenty-first official Bond film starring Daniel Craig as James Bond.