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    Three Editions of John Pearson's
    The Life of Ian Fleming
    - Including the Author's
    Proof Copy with the Unedited Chapter on Thunderball

    [Ian Fleming, subject]. John Pearson. The Life of Ian Fleming [ James Bond ]. London and New York: Jonathan Cape and McGraw-Hill Book Company, [1966]. Comprising: the proof copy of the first edition, the first trade edition and the first American trade edition. The proof copy is the author's own copy, with an autograph note signed on plain white paper previously affixed with tape to the first leaf (tape residue on note and first leaf, but note is now loose): "Tellaro/Dear L., This post has just arrived, so I thought you would like to see it. It is my first & only copy, so I would be grateful for it back when you have finished with it-/love/J." Together, three octavo volumes. 346, [6, blank]; [352]; [xii], [339], [1, blank] pages. Proof copy is in Cape's printed wrappers used for proofs, and in a special proof dust jacket (with "Proof Only" box on rear flap), the other two editions are in the original publisher's bindings and dust jackets. The proof jacket is a bit larger than the book, so the jacket edges are a bit creased, some sticker residue on the verso of the proof jacket, some edgewear and minor chipping to jacket edge; some light rubbing or bumping to jacket edge of Cape trade edition, jacket on McGraw-Hill trade is fine. The wrappers on the proof edition are creased at the spine with some glue residue at the tailcap, some scuffing and wear to wrappers, publisher's ink note on front panel, some toning and thumbsoiling in text. Very minor rubbing to binding of the two trade editions. The rare proof edition is still near fine; the trade editions are generally fine.
    Each of the trade editions have loose publisher's statements, clarifying (and indemnifying) themselves for the "Thunderball Backfires" chapter, which was written before legal action was taken by Thunderball co-writer Kevin McClory (the statement by Cape has some wear to the left margin, seemingly indicating that it was removed from another source).
    This biography was considered to be the definitive biography of Fleming until the biography by Andrew Lycett was published in 1995 - although the Pearson biography is still considered to be essential reading for the Fleming aficionado.
    The proof copy still has the unedited (and potentially libelous) chapter on Thunderball ("Thunderball Backfires"), written before the aforementioned legal action. In it, Pearson is critical of McClory's position in regards to Thunderball. However, legal action at the time reinforced McClory's position and so the chapter was edited to be more favorable to McClory. Indeed, the legal wrangling on Thunderball went on and on, not finally ending until 2013. From the James Bond collection of Gary Firuta.
    Gilbert p. 592.

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