London: Jonathan Cape, 1963. First Edition. Hardcover. 1st edition, preceding the American. His first book. Variant binding in black cloth, top edge unstained, and copies in black were actually sold in retail stores, so it is a published issue. Near fine in near fine 1st state dustjacket (no reviews on flap). Near fine / Near fine. Item #25
I try to deny myself delusions when I am writing, and I think this allows me to deny them to others when they refuse to keep their fantasies to themselves, and this book inspires more than its share. Our jacket’s not price clipped and among the wild claims attached to Collectors in black, is that all copies were sold in price clipped jackets. And that’s not the only myth attached to this issue. It’s said to be rare when there are 5 copies for sale right now. It’s called a trial binding, or an export issue, with no proof at all. And whether it’s (likely) the 1st binding in standard Cape black cloth used while awaiting delivery of, or deciding upon, the terracotta colored cloth normally seen, or (less likely) the 2nd binding in standard Cape black used for the final sets of sheets when the terracotta had run out, or been abandoned for a while, it’s not a $10,000 book. It’s not a $5,000 book. And it should be wrapped in crime scene tape when it’s sold to anyone guileless enough to buy one at any price beyond our price. It is, however, 30 times scarcer than the regular binding for 3 times the price here, so the math supports our premium and decrypts its relative value (Book Code).