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Lakin & Marley Rare Books

CONTANGO (Fine/Fine Copy Signed By the Author)

CONTANGO (Fine/Fine Copy Signed By the Author)

Hilton, James Hilton, James. CONTANGO. London: Ernest Benn, (1932). First Edition. Soon after published in the United States as "Ill Wind." A FINE copy in a priced FINE dust jacket, SIGNED BY THE AUTHOR. The best and most desirable copy we've ever seen in commerce. All Hilton novels before LOST HORIZON are exceedingly rare in this kind of advanced collector's condition. CONTANGO is a literary tour-de-force, a trifle unreasonably placed in Hilton's second tier of works behind Lost Horizon, Goodbye Mr. Chips and Random Harvest. Its plot and theme best exemplify Hilton's most often seen motif: that the random element in the universe always increases. The title change to ILL WIND is actually a good one. (Contango clearly sounded too much like the title of a Joseph Conrad tale). In fact, this amazing novel begins with a murder in the Far East, moves swiftly to hysterical comedy in Switzerland, back to ill doings in London, a wild sojourn in Hollywood, chaos in a South American republic, order restored in New York, climaxes with gunfire at a European international conference, and finally resolves in a quaint English village. Each venue greets us with a fascinating new character: a Soviet diplomat, a Catholic priest, a compromised company director, a self-involved film actor; in short, a parade of interesting characters held together by a single link. If you're interested in collecting first editions of the lesser novels of James Hilton, or just a fan of great lost novels, this is a glorious example in utterly remarkable condition. And SIGNED to boot. In a custom cloth protective folding box.
ADVENTURES AND MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

ADVENTURES AND MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES

Doyle, A(rthur) Conan Doyle, A(rthur) Conan. THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. London: George Newnes, 1892. FIRST EDITION, first issue (without the words "Southampton Street" on the front cover street sign). A VERY FINE COPY for this title, remarkably bright with its cloth unrubbed and its gilt virtually unblemished, in original publisher's light blue cloth over beveled boards, spine blocked and lettered in gilt and black, all edges gilt. The free endpapers are just lightly browned. With all one-hundred-and-four of Sidney Paget's famous illustrations. The notoriously fragile inner hinges show only the slightest separation of paper with no cracking or breaking. Although Sherlock Holmes first appeared in the initially unheralded novels A Study In Scarlet and The Sign Of Four, it was the wildly enthusiastic reception of this volume which, once and for all, made famous the most enduring fictional character of the Victorian era. THE ADVENTURES OF SHERLOCK HOLMES contains the first twelve of the fifty-six Sherlock Holmes stories eventually collected, including several of his most famous: "A Scandal In Bohemia," "The Five Orange Pips," The Man With The Twisted Lip," and "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." This is a CONDITION-CENSUS COPY; in 25 years, we've seen only two other examples in equally brilliant condition (and they both had dust jackets). Green & Gibson A10a. Housed in a wine-red vintage quarter-morocco slipcase. [TOGETHER WITH:] Doyle, A(rthur) Conan. THE MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES. Illustrations by Sidney Paget. London: George Newnes, 1894. First Edition. AN EXCEEDINGLY FINE and remarkably bright copy in original publisher's dark blue cloth over beveled boards, spine blocked and lettered in gilt and black, all edges gilt. There is only the slightest touch of rub to the extremities, the free endpapers are just lightly browned, inner hinges expertly and invisibly restored to perfection, some minimal foxing. The ninety illustrations by Sidney Paget include the famous frontispiece: "The Death Of Sherlock Holmes. THE MEMOIRS OF SHERLOCK HOLMES contain Doyle's second set of twelve Sherlock Holmes short-stories, including "The Final Problem" which introduces Holmes' arch-enemy, Professor Moriarty. We've seen countless copies of this title in poor to average condition. This is about as good as it gets. Green & Gibson A10a. Housed in a wine-red vintage quarter-morocco slipcase. A perfectly matched set.