The Glass Key

London: Alfred A. Knopf, 1931.

Price: $4,500.00

Hardcover. First edition, preceding the American edition, and first issue, with the Knopf imprint (later issues have the Cassell imprint). Attractive engraved bookplate on the front pastedown, slightly cocked, and with a small, not too obtrusive stain on the front board, otherwise near fine, lacking the rare dustwrapper. A very attractive copy of the author's fourth book. This true first, English edition is exceptionally uncommon, and flat out rare in the jacket (which this copy lacks). Knopf published in the U.K. for only a few years, and generally produced very small editions.

Item #84799

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The Glass Key. Dashiell HAMMETT.
The Glass Key
The Glass Key
The Glass Key
The Glass Key
The Glass Key
The Glass Key
The Glass Key

Dashiell Hammett
birth name: Samuel Dashiell Hammett
born: 5/27/1894
died: 1/10/1961

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Biography

American writer who helped to create the hard-boiled school of detective fiction. - Merriam-Webster's Encyclopedia of Literaturemore

Collecting tips:

Hammett wrote just five novels that were published in hardcover: Red Harvest (1929), The Dain Curse (1930), The Maltese Falcon (1930), The Glass Key (1931), and The Thin Man (1934) over a period of only five years, and then spent the 26 remaining years of his life drinking, and generally being annoying. He did however, write a lot of stories that were collected in paperback, or after his death. All of the first four are especially uncommon in fine condition and in jackets. The Glass Key was first published in England, which not too many people know, in a very small edition, and with different jacket art. Both that book and a fine jacketed copy of the The Maltese Falcon demand and deserve a premium when you go to buy one. The Thin Man is less rare, but still pricey, and comes in four variants of the jacket -- either green or red, and with or without reviews on the jacket flaps. The front panel jacket photograph on all variants is of Hammett himself, doing a fair job looking dapper yet macilent. No one knows for sure what the priority is, but dealers invariably claim primacy for the copy they happen to have in stock at the moment. We lean towards the red jacket without blurbs, but condition is the important thing and we'd probably still take any nice copy that came along.

We also offer a comprehensive Dashiell Hammett Bibliography and Price Guide.more