NABOKOV, Vladimir. Lolita. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1959.
8vo. Original black cloth, spine lettered in silver, upper edge red; pp. 319, [i]; a few small damp spots to upper edge; p. 49-58 with very small corner crease; a few spots of tape residue to prelims; else a near fine copy in jacket which has been roughly price clipped; some small tape residue marks; rear flap with 2cm closed tear and some nicking and rubbing to head and foot of spine; still a particularly bright example.
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, though with the inclusion of the character Vivian Darkbloom (an anagram for Vladimir 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.