2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke with ALS first edition 1968
London: Hutchinson (1968). First UK edition. 8vo., original black cloth boards, decorated with sliver lettering to the spine, with the original Michael Brett designed dust jacket; pp. [iv] 5-255 [i]; A very good or better copy. The jacket hasn't been price clipped displaying the correct price of 25s. net. The jacket has some mild rubbing to the top of the spine. The board are gently pushed to a corner. Overall, there is minor handling wear.
The book's previous owner, Roger Grimston was a close friend of the author Arthur C. Clarke and of Val Cleaver a distinguished British Rocket Engineer and advocate for space travel. Val Cleaver has inscribed the book to him on the front free end paper and Arthur C Clarke has written a letter to him, that is tucked into the front.
Val Cleaver developed rocket travel at Rolls Royce and De Havilland. On the front free end paper he inscribes "Read what it was all about! from Val Cleaver 7/7/68" (year of publication).
Then tucked into the front of the book is a letter to Roger from Arthur C Clarke. He writes "I feel very sad about not being here to meet you and to be with Val for the last time, but i think he would understand" the letter is dated 5 Oct 77 and Val Cleaver's funeral was a day later. Clarke had by this time emigrated to Sri Lanka and he goes on, in the letter, to say that he was winding up his affairs in the UK and US. He wrote his sri lanka address on the reverse of the letter.
Val Cleaver and Arthur Clarke were close friends, and it is well known that they once met with J.R.R Tolkien and C.S. Lewis in an Oxford pub to debate space travel. Clarke and Lewis had been writing to each other and disagreed greatly on the subject so each brought a friend: Clarke brought Cleaver and Lewis brought along Tolkien. Clarke was said to have said of the pub meeting 'Needless to say, neither side converted the other, and we refused to abandon our diabolical schemes of interplanetary conquest. But a fine time was had by all, and when, some hours later, we emerged a little unsteadily from the Eastgate, Dr. Lewis' parting words were "I'm sure you're very wicked people - but how dull it would be if everyone was good".
An interesting association between Roger Grimston, Val Cleaver and the author Arthur C Clarke with all three from the inscription and letter seemingly close friends. Cleaver would most likely have influenced Clarke with how rockets were engineered and space travel in general, and this would have aided him with his writing. A superb first edition, with inscription from Cleaver and letter from Clarke.