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Single and Single Promotional Edition Signed by John Le Carre first 1999

Single and Single Promotional Edition Signed by John Le Carre first 1999


London: Hodder and Stoughton Ltd., 1999 


8vo., bright red publisher’s boards, backstrip lettered in gilt, with navy endpapers, gold ribbon marker, and unclipped pictorial dust jacket (£9.99) with cover illustration by Andy Bridge, and a brooding black and white photograph of the author to the lower flap by The Douglas Brothers; tiny white mark to upper board, mild compression, ribbon marker a touch frayed, otherwise an essentially fine copy, apparently unread. 


Much coveted by Le Carre collectors, this the rare promotional edition, signed by the author to the title page. With full number line 1-10 denoting first impression, this version is the true first, appearing before the release of the trade edition, and with the ‘juggling’ artwork for the jacket which was later replaced by a gold and black version featuring a spiral staircase. 


John Le Carre was the pen name for David J. M. Cornwell, who worked for the Secret Service during WWII as an interpreter of classified documents. His identity was a secret up until his cover was blown by the infamous British double agent Kim Philby. Inspired by his work, Cornwell began writing novels during the 1960s when George Smiley, one of his best-loved characters, was born. Smiley became the basis for a series of novels, beginning with Call for the Dead (1961), and ending with A Legacy of Spies (2017).  


Published in the late 1990s, Single and Single was written while Le Carre was essentially in the middle of his long career as an author. In it, a lawyer from the London Finance House Single & Single is shot on a turkish hillside, a children’s magician receives five million pounds into his daughter’s trust account, a Liverpool-bound freighter is boarded by Russian coast guards in the black sea, and the celebrated London merchant venturer ‘Tiger’ vanishes into thin air. 

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