FLEMING, Ian. Casino Royale. London: Jonathan Cape, 1953.
8vo. Publisher's black boards, spine lettered in red, red heart tooling to upper board; in the original dust wrapper (clipped but retaining price); pp. [iv], 5-218, ; minimal bumping to head and tail of spine of boards; slight sunning to spine of wrapper; light rubbing and chipping to extremities of wrapper; discoloration to margins of flaps of wrapper; light sunning to top edge; a very good copy.
First edition, first issue, with all issue points as noted in Gilbert.
A classic in the spy-fiction genre, Ian Fleming's, Casino Royale, introduces readers to the suave and resourceful British secret agent, James Bond. Set in the post-World War II era, the novel reflects the author's own experiences in British naval intelligence during the War, infusing the fictional world with authentic espionage elements. Against the backdrop of a recovering world, the novel explores themes of luxury, hedonism, and the pursuit of pleasure, providing readers with a glimpse into the post-war optimism of the time. The Cold War tensions between the Western world and the Soviet Union influenced the choice of the Soviet operative, Le Chiffre, as the story's antagonist. Casino Royale marks the birth of a cultural phenomenon, with James Bond embodying the ideal British spy and serving as the foundation for a series of espionage thrillers that continue to captivate audiences worldwide. Fleming's literary world features a whole host of now familiar buzzwords such as 'concealed weapons,' 'listening devices,' 'ciphers,' and 'Martinis' which are now synonymous with the series. The novel's success paved the way for an enduring series of espionage thrillers and introduced readers to a new kind of hero, James Bond, who would become a cultural icon with a lasting legacy in literature and film.
First published in the UK on April 13th 1953 by Jonathan Cape, Casino Royale had a modest print run of just 4,750 copies, yet garnered favourable reviews and swiftly sold out within a month. Its publication in the United States in 1954, under the title "You Asked for It," did not have the same success. With the release of the first James Bond Film, Dr. No in 1962, the series regained popularity, and subsequent reprints of Casino Royale were immensely successful, rising in favour alongside the film franchise.