Auctions | September 7, 2016

Graham Greene's Own Proof Copy of "The Heart of the Matter" at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 9.31.52 AM.pngA rare and exciting collection of Modern Books and Works of Paper will be auctioned at 1 pm on 29 September 2016 at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury Auctions’ London base, Bloomsbury House, 24 Maddox Street. 

Expected to reach between £20,000-£30,000 is author Graham Greene’s own proof copy of bestselling novel, The Heart of the Matter (Lot 104). This auction highlight is an amazing collector’s piece, with Greene's corrections and the inscribed first edition showing how these corrections came into effect. The inscription to Greene's editor Frere reads: "For Frere with gratitude and affection from Graham Greene, April 1948."

Ian Fleming’s copy of Daniel Defoe’s The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (Lot 78), inscribed by Fleming to his (future) wife, Ann is estimated at £3,000-£4,000. The inscription reads "A. p.27 / 'Thou foolish child, thou / art always crying'. / I.". An intriguing combination of book and inscription, taking into account the books salacious nature and considering that, at the time of the inscription, Ann and Fleming were involved in a passionate adulterous love affair.

One presumes it must pre-date the tragic death of their daughter at birth, as Ann later said that it was Fleming's kindness at the time that led her to truly fall in love with him, and this would not seem the most obvious gift in such circumstances, though the quote might suggest otherwise. Ann divorced Lord Rothermere in October 1951 and married Ian on March 24th 1952, Fleming finished writing Casino Royale six days beforehand on March 18th, utilising the pre-wedding nerves as a spur to creativity.

A further auction highlight is a first edition of Fleming’s On Her Majesty's Secret Service (Lot 92) inscribed to his friend John Hayward (1905-65): "To / John / To pick holes in! / from / Ian." 1963, estimated at £6,000-8,000.