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    W. R. Burnett. Little Caesar. London: Jonathan Cape, 1929. First English edition. Octavo (7.5 x 5 inches; 192 x 127 mm.). 288 pages. Publisher's red cloth, spine lettered in gilt; all edges of the text block trimmed; in the original illustrated dust jacket. Spine very slightly skewed; faint wear and dust soiling at extremities of binding. Normal toning to edges and interior of text block; mild darkening at top edge. Spine panel and edges of dust jacket toned; a few small chips at head of spine panel; a touch of wear at folds; flaps clipped. A near fine copy in a very good dust jacket. With two-leaf review slip and order form laid in. Nice copies of the first edition are hard to find, but the first English edition seems genuinely rare. We were not able to locate any in the trade (January 2019) or previous auction records in Rare Book Hub. Burnett's first novel and the basis for the film of the same name, released in 1931. A Haycraft Queen Cornerstone.

    More Information: "W. R. Burnett [1899-1982] is one of the godfathers of crime fiction. He virtually introduced the realistic professional criminal as protagonist to modern popular literature and was instrumental in establishing the parameters, and the clichés, of the gangster story in fiction and in film. Burnett's first novel, Little Caesar (1929), set the stage for every urban mob tale to come." (Lee Server, Encyclopedia of Pulp Fiction Writers (New York: 2002), pp. 43-44). 

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2019
    6th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 446

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