Publication: William Heinemann, Ltd, 1928, London
First edition. 8vo. A clean, fine, bright copy in a fine bright dust jacket with light professional restoration to the flap folds and to the bottom edge of the lower rear panel. Queen's Quorum says, "Maugham's ASHENDEN lifts the secret service sleuth high above the conventional conception of the spycatcher. His emphasis is not on plot in the usual blood-and-thunder sense; Maugham is too crafty a craftsman to subordinate realism and depth of characterization to tricks and counter-tricks. Maugham proved that the secret service story, like the detective story, has come of age." A superb story about the British Secret Service. Maugham served in the British Intelligence Service in World Wars I and II. In 1914 he was part of a Red Cross unit in France, later acting as a secret agent in Geneva. In Petrograd he was involved in trying to prevent the outbreak of the Russian Revolution. His experiences are related in this collection and influenced Ian Fleming's James Bond stories. Basis for the Alfred Hitchcock film THE SECRET AGENT with Madeline Carroll, John Gielgud, and Peter Lorre. Selected for both the Haycraft-Queen and Queen's Quorum high spot lists. A superb copy of this key title and scarce in this condition. Housed in a custom-made cloth clamshell case with titles on the spine. An exceptional copy.
Inventory Number: 51481