Hardcover. Holograph Manuscript Signed. Approximately 170 leaves handwritten mostly on the rectos only, with a few exceptions. Bound in blue cloth and titled in gilt, topedge gilt, and with the stamped name of binder William A. Harvey. Laid in is a letter from binder Harvey to Landi (addressed to her married name, Mrs. Lawrence), mentioning the cost of an additional binder's die for the title. Initialed by Landi at the end of the manuscript and dated in November, 1927, when she was 23; the novel was published in 1929 by Chatto and Windus. Some scuffing on the boards, very good; internally about fine. Accompanied by a very good copy of the first edition lacking the original dustwrapper.
Landi, an Italian-born Austrian, finished her first novel when she was 20; *The Helmers* was her second. However, her writing career was intermittently interrupted by her highly successful acting career. She appeared in both theatre and films in England and Europe, before continuing her career in Hollywood as a leading lady, with her first lead roles in *Body and Soul* (1931) and Cecil B. DeMille's *The Sign of the Cross* (1932). Probably her best-known leading roles were in *The Count of Monte Cristo* (1934) opposite Robert Donat, and as Myrna Loy's cousin in *After the Thin Man* (1936). She retired from films in 1943 after a dispute with a studio and returned to writing, publishing six novels. She died in 1948 at the age of 43.