"WED FORGIVE MOST THINGS IF WE KNEW THE FACTS": FIRST EDITION OF THE HEART OF THE MATTER; INSCRIBED BY GRAHAM GREENE
The Heart of the Matter.
Item Number: 3736
New York: The Viking Press, 1948.
First American edition of what many consider the author’s masterpiece. Octavo, original half cloth. Inscribed by the author, “For Bob Goldstein from Graham Greene Nothing under $200,000.” Fine in a near fine dust jacket with light rubbing. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box.
The Heart of the Matter was enormously popular, selling more than 300,000 copies in the United Kingdom upon its release and went on to win the 1948 James Tait Black Memorial Prize for fiction. It tells the story of a good man enmeshed in love, intrigue, and evil in a West African coastal town. Scobie is bound by strict integrity to his role as assistant police commissioner and by severe responsibility to his wife, Louise, for whom he cares with a fatal pity. When Scobie falls in love with the young widow Helen, he finds vital passion again yielding to pity, integrity giving way to deceit and dishonor—a vortex leading directly to murder. As Scobie's world crumbles, his personal crisis develops the foundation of a story by turns suspenseful, fascinating, and, finally, tragic. ''Graham Greene was in a class by himself. He will be read and remembered as the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety" (William Golding). It was named by The Modern Library as one of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century. In 2005, the it was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the one hundred best English-language novels from 1923 to the present.