Out of Africa.

First British Edition of Isak Dinesen's Out of Africa; King Edward VIII's Copy with his ownership inscription

Out of Africa.

DINESEN, Isak [Karen Blixen] [King Edward VIII].

Item Number: 110991

London: Putnam, 1937.

First British edition of the author’s masterpiece, a lyrical meditation of the years she lived in Kenya, from the library of King Edward VIII. Octavo, original cloth. With numerous original photographs and newspaper clippings affixed to the front few pages. Originally from the collection of the author’s brother Thomas Fasti Dinesen with two original black and white photographs of him hunting affixed to the verso of the front free endpaper and half-title page above which he has annotated, “My first lion April 6th 1922” and “Shot from boma April 11th 1922 The boma only five feet from the hill on account of my alias Thomas Dinesen.” In 1918, Thomas Dinesen moved to British East Africa to help his sister manage her coffee farm in the Ngong hills southwest of Nairobi where he designed a largely built the farm’s coffee roasting plant. Subsequently, from the library of Edward VIII with his ownership inscription to the front free endpaper, “‘The son of the sultan’ Edward Duke of Windsor.” Edward VIII was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Empire, and Emperor of India, from January 1936 until his abdication in December of the same year, after which he became the Duke of Windsor. And finally, inscribed on the title page, “To Hubert Gough with best wishes from Maj ‘one’ Sotheby March.” The recipient, Sir Hubert de la Poer Gough was a senior officer in the British Army in the First World War. Also affixed throughout are numerous clippings related to the Duke of Windsor and Blixen including a clipping with a photograph of her with Marilyn Monroe and original black and white photographs of her in 1921, later in life, and views of the plantation farmers and Ngong Hills. In very good condition. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A unique example.

From 1914 to 1931, Danish aristocrat Baroness Karen Blixen owned and operated a coffee plantation in Kenya. After the plantation failed, she returned to Europe and began to write under the pen name Isak Dinesen. Out of Africa reads like a collection of stories in which she adheres to no strict chronology, gives no explanation of the facts of her life, and apologizes for nothing. Basis for the film bearing the same name, directed by Sydney Pollack, starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep, which went on to win seven Academy Awards. Named by Modern Library as one of the 100 best non-fiction books of the twentieth century.

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