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Monday, 14 October, 2002, 06:12 GMT 07:12 UK
Churchill's Bond book sold at auction
Live and Let Die first edition
The cover and inscription on the first edition
Winston Churchill's first edition copy of the James Bond novel Live And Let Die was sold 46,000 at auction.

Signed by the author Ian Fleming, the book bears the handwritten inscription: "To Sir Winston Churchill: From whom I stole some words."

The writer's father, Valentine Fleming, was an MP for South Oxfordshire and a close friend of Churchill.


It gives the book a place in history that just the imprint and date of printing can't give it

Jennifer Lee
Columbia University

Fleming's message to the wartime leader is scrawled in blue ink on the inner dust jacket.

He is believed to be referring to Churchill's definition of the British secret service which Fleming used on the blurb of the 1954 novel.

Churchill had described it as a "tangle within tangle, plot and counter plot, ruse and treachery, cross and double cross".

The book was among more than 350 inscribed first editions of 20th century literary classics sold at Christie's in New York.

One of the earliest copies of James Joyce's Ulysses, printed on Dutch handmade paper and inscribed to publisher Henry Kaeser, sold for 300,000.

Inscriptions

And a copy of TS Eliot's 1922 poem The Waste Land, featuring several handwritten corrections by the writer, went for 65,000.

Literary experts say the inscriptions made the works more valuable.

"It gives the book a place in history that just the imprint and date of printing can't give it," said Jennifer Lee, from Columbia University's library of rare books and manuscripts.


To Joyce, With Love, From Amigo Beholden Jack

Jack Kerouac

An edition of L Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was inscribed with four lines of verse to a family friend, Elizabeth Hubbard: "When in this book you take a look; My little sweetheart Beth; Just think I write the whole of it; And yet am yours 'til death."

Jack Kerouac's classic, On the Road was inscribed to his girlfriend, Joyce Johnson, with a greeting: "To Joyce, With Love, From Amigo Beholden Jack."

Vladimir Nabokov's 1958 first American edition of his controversial novel Lolita, about an old man's affair with a young girl, is dedicated to his wife with one word - her name, Vera, in Russian.

See also:

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