"HE MUST PLAY THE ROLE… THE MAN WHO WAS ONLY A SILHOUETTE": FIRST EDITION OF MOONRAKER, SIGNED BY DUST JACKET ARTIST KENNETH LEWIS
FLEMING, Ian. Moonraker. London: Jonathan Cape, (1955). Octavo, original black paper boards, original dust jacket. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. $12,500.
First edition of Fleming's third novel, in which Bond must foil the attempt of a British industrialist to destroy London with a nuclear weapon, in first-issue dust jacket, this copy signed by Kenneth Lewis (who designed the dust jacket with Fleming) on the front jacket flap.
Considered by many to be one of the best of the Bond books, Moonraker afforded Fleming "an opportunity to wax lyrical about the England he loved—the 'panorama full of color and excitement and romance… [Fleming also] skillfully reintroduced notes of ambiguity and realism into the life of his globe-trotting hero… Noël Coward read Moonraker in proof in Jamaica and pronounced, 'It is the best thing he has done yet, very exciting… His observation is extraordinary and his talent for description vivid" (Lycett, 253-54, 269). The early Bond novels are quite scarce. "This title is extremely rare in fine condition" (Biondi & Pickard, 42). Made into the 1979 film of the same title with Roger Moore as Bond and Lois Chiles as Dr. Holly Goodhead. Second issue, with "shoot" instead of "shoo" on page 10, penultimate line, and all other textual points called for in Gilbert A3a(1.2); sheets bulk at 19 mm. First-issue dust jacket, with flap price "10s. 6d. net" and jacket design credit line on the front flap (Biondi & Pickard, 42). Gilbert A3a.
Book very nearly fine, bright dust jacket with usual toning to spine and mild toning along upper edge. A near-fine copy, desirable signed by Lewis.