"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused": First Edition of The Quiet American; Inscribed by Graham Greene To Close Friend and Fellow Novelist Rex Warner and His Wife

  • The Quiet American.
  • The Quiet American.

The Quiet American.

Item Number: 4165

London: William Heinemann Ltd, 1955.

First edition of Greene’s classic novel of exploration of love, innocence, and morality in Vietnam. Octavo, original blue cloth. Association copy, inscribed by the author to novelist Rex Warner and his wife, Barbara Rothschild on the front free endpaper, “For Rex + Barbara with love, from Graham.” A few small spots to the text block, near fine in a near fine dust jacket with the lightest of shelf wear. Rex Warner was an English novelist, classicist, and translator. Writer and critic V. S. Pritchett described Warner as “the only outstanding novelist of ideas whom the decade of ideas produced.” Greene and Warner, both educated at Oxford traveled in many of the same circles, and Barbara was a close friend of Catherine Walston, with whom Greene was having an affair. Rex and Barbara met at a party hosted by Greene, and Greene and Walston would often spend weekends with the couple at Barbara Rothchild’s home in Tackley, England. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A wonderful association copy.

Against the intrigue and violence of Vietnam during the French war with the Vietminh, Alden Pyle, an idealistic young American, is sent to promote democracy, as his friend, Fowler, a cynical foreign correspondent, looks on. Fowler’s mistress, a beautiful native girl, creates a catalyst for jealousy and competition between the men, and a cultural clash resulting in bloodshed and deep misgivings. Written in 1955 prior to the Vietnam conflict, The Quiet American foreshadows the events leading up to the Vietnam conflict. The Quiet American proves "urgent, mournful and unsparing there’s not another book quite like it" (Salon). Adapted to the screen in 1958, and again in 2002 starring Michael Caine and Brendan Fraser.