Scarce Iconic Espionage Novel
Childers, Erskine ~ The Riddle Of The Sands
London, Smith Elders & Co. 1903
The First UK printing published by London, Smith Elders & Co.in 1903. The BOOK is in VERY GOOD+ condition. 336pp. + 4pp ads. Publisher’s decorated black cloth with titles in white to the spine though quite rubbed as is often the case. Light bumping to the extremities with some rubbing to the spine but not affecting the integrity of the book. Decorated boards sharp, a little bit of inoffensive wear here and there. Internally free from inscriptions and erasures. There is the expected occasional light spotting. Illustrated with fold out maps and charts which are all present. Frontispiece folding chart a trifle creased with some light soiling to the title page. Housed in a custom solander box. A very good copy of the first edition of a book somewhat contentiously described as the first modern espionage novel, vying for the title with Kipling’s 'Kim', published two years earlier. Originally written after he returned injured from action in South Africa and first published in 1903 the novel of imminent conflict with Germany was highly influential and is actually credited with the founding of British naval bases at Invergordon and Scapa Flow; newly regarded as strategically important after examination of the scenarios in Childer’s novel. Childers was of course a staunch advocate of Irish Home Rule and was found guilty of possessing a firearm in contravention of the Irish Emergency Powers Resolution and sentenced to death by firing squad in 1922. The book was adapted in 1979 into a movie starring Michael York and Simon MacCorkindale. An exceptionally scarce and important title to find in any condition. Highly collectible with such attributes.
CONDITION: Very Good+