NABOKOV, Vladimir. Lolita. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1959.
8vo. Original black cloth, spine lettered in silver, upper edge red; pp. 319, [i]; some light spotting to end papers and edges; small bookseller's label to front paste down; wrapper slightly sunned to spine and with some nicks and tears to internal flaps, and head and foot of spine; still a good to very good copy in unclipped jacket.
First UK edition.
Nabokov took five years to write Lolita, and it was finally published in 1953. Due to the subject matter, he originally intended to publish it pseudonymously, although with the inclusion of the character Vivian Darkbloom (an anagram for Vladamir Nabokov). The manuscript was, perhaps unsurprisingly, turned down by Viking, Simon & Schuster, New Directions, Farrar-Straus and Doubleday, and was subsequently banned for two years until Graham Greene came out in its favour, calling it “one of the three best books of 1955”(The London Times). This may not sound like high praise, but his approval led to the lift of the ban and eventual publication, though it was not without its scandal. In fact, it contributed hugely to the end of Nigel Nicholson's (from the publisher Weidenfeld & Nicholson) career.