"THE BEST ANSWER THE DEMOCRACIES HAVE YET FOUND TO MEIN KAMPF": LIMITED FIRST EDITION OF SAINT-EXUPERY'S FLIGHT TO ARRAS, 1942, ONE OF ONLY 500 COPIES SIGNED BY SAINT-EXUPERY AND ILLUSTRATOR LAMOTTE
SAINT-EXUPERY, Antoine de. Flight to Arras. New York: Reynal and Hitchcock, 1942. Octavo, original half blue calf, pictorial endpapers, top edge gilt, blue ribbon marker; original slipcase. $2500.
Signed limited first American edition, number 395 of only 500 copies signed on the limitation page by Saint-Exupéry and illustrator Bernard Lamotte.
Based on one of Saint-Exupéry's 1940 reconnaissance missions, the book "provides a very true portrait of a man… German antiaircraft fire brings out a Saint-Exupéry the Libyan desert did not; Arras is a deeply personal book… Conceived as a volume on the fall of France, Flight to Arras was a war book by the time it was published. It won raves on both counts. It was universally thought to dwarf all other accounts of the French defeat; writing in the Atlantic Edward Weeks declared, This narrative and Churchill's speeches stand as the best answer the democracies have yet found to Mein Kampf" (Schiff, 363). Saint-Exupéry published and signed this volume during his exile in New York, just months before he began writing The Little Prince. Books signed by him are uncommon and in much demand. Without very scarce glassine. Evidence of bookplate. Owner signature dated 1942; contemporary newspaper and magazine clippings tipped to verso of half title and to rear flyleaves.
Light foxing to cloth, a bit of toning to slipcase, often not present. An extremely good signed copy.