"BETTER LOOK OUT, ROSIE, OLD GIRL. IT'LL BE RAPIDS NEXT!": FIRST AMERICAN EDITION OF FORESTER'S AFRICAN QUEEN
FORESTER, C.S. The African Queen. Boston: Little, Brown, 1935. Octavo, original beige and green cloth, original dust jacket. $5000.
First American edition of Forester's beloved African adventure, basis for John Huston's 1951 Oscar-winning film starring Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn, in scarce dust jacket.
"I recommend Forester to every literate I know," Hemingway once said. Born Cecil Smith in Egypt, C.S. Forester grew up in England to become one of its most popular authors with his adventures of Horatio Hornblower and, in The African Queen, an unlikely romance between a Cockney boat pilot and a headstrong missionary that produced one of Hollywood's most legendary films, starring Katharine Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in his only Oscar-winning role. "The cornerstone item in any serious Forester collection" (Smiley, 39). Published the same year in England with a "happier, if not entirely satisfying ending," this "American first edition stops when the African Queen sinks… Forester was fond of ironic stories; the shorter, tragic end [of the first American edition] gives the story a dimension missing from the British edition" (Firsts 14:2, 42, 57).
Book fine; some chipping, edge-wear with repair to verso of very good dust jacket. A modern classic in scarce pictorial dust jacket.