W. Somerset Maugham – Ashenden – First UK Edition 1928 – SIGNED and INSCRIBED

W. Somerset Maugham – Ashenden – First UK Edition 1928 – SIGNED and INSCRIBED

Somerset Maugham Ashenden FIrst Edition Signed

W. Somerset Maugham – Ashenden – First UK Edition 1928 – SIGNED and INSCRIBED

£8,750.00

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£8,750.00

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A first edition, first printing published by Heinemann in 1928. A near fine book with Edward Wassermann’s bookplate to the front pastedown. SIGNED and INSCRIBED on the front free endpaper ‘For Eddie Wassermann/These stories are founded/on my experience as an/agent in the Secret Service/during the Great War/ W. Somerset Maugham/. In a very good unclipped wrapper with one small chip to the head of the spine and one to the foot. Some rubbing to the edges and some neat internal repairs. The inscribee, Edward Wassermann was a prominent banker, collector and philanthropist, and the subject of a famous portrait by Salvador Dali. The warmth of the inscription shows an evident friendship between Wassermann and Maugham. Ashenden, as Maugham’s inscription describes, is a collection of stories based on Maugham’s experiences working for the British Intelligence during the First World War. Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Secret Agent’ (1936) was loosely based on ‘Ashenden’, starring Madeleine Carroll, Peter Lorre, John Gielgud, and Robert Young. Graham Greene gave the film a poor review, characterizing it as a despoilment of Maugham’s Ashenden and dismissing it as “a series of small ‘amusing’ melodramatic situations”. The book is number 78 in the Queen’s Quorum and is a Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone. Both of these lists notes how Ashenden was as an important landmark leap forward in spy fiction and an important influence on the writings of Ambler, Deighton, and especially Le Carre.

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Description

A first edition, first printing published by Heinemann in 1928. A near fine book with Edward Wassermann’s bookplate to the front pastedown. SIGNED and INSCRIBED on the front free endpaper ‘For Eddie Wassermann/These stories are founded/on my experience as an/agent in the Secret Service/during the Great War/ W. Somerset Maugham/. In a very good unclipped wrapper with one small chip to the head of the spine and one to the foot. Some rubbing to the edges and some neat internal repairs. The inscribee, Edward Wassermann was a prominent banker, collector and philanthropist, and the subject of a famous portrait by Salvador Dali. The warmth of the inscription shows an evident friendship between Wassermann and Maugham. Ashenden, as Maugham’s inscription describes, is a collection of stories based on Maugham’s experiences working for the British Intelligence during the First World War. Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Secret Agent’ (1936) was loosely based on ‘Ashenden’, starring Madeleine Carroll, Peter Lorre, John Gielgud, and Robert Young. Graham Greene gave the film a poor review, characterizing it as a despoilment of Maugham’s Ashenden and dismissing it as “a series of small ‘amusing’ melodramatic situations”. The book is number 78 in the Queen’s Quorum and is a Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone. Both of these lists notes how Ashenden was as an important landmark leap forward in spy fiction and an important influence on the writings of Ambler, Deighton, and especially Le Carre.

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