First edition, first printing. Inscribed presentation copy. Publisher's original green cloth with silver titles to the spine, in the Oliver Elmes illustrated dustwrapper. With an autograph letter signed, loosely laid in. A near fine copy, the binding square and firm, some very light mottling to the cloth on the upper board and some bumping at the spine tips. The contents are clean throughout and without previous owner's inscriptions or stamps. Complete with the rubbed and nicked original dustwrapper which has a few closed tears and associated creasing at the upper edge of the lower panel. Not price-clipped (30s net to the front flap). The sixth book in the Alms to Oblivion sequence.
Inscribed by the author in blue ink on the front endpaper "For Harry Golombeck / to whom it is a / pleasure and an honour / to present this book / July 1979 / Simon Raven". The autograph letter signed, written from Raven's Manor Road, Deal address reads "Yes, I am a chess player, though a wretched one, and acquainted with much that you have written - with very imperfect understanding. So I am happy to forward the 2 books enclosed - no charge [underlined multiple times] ...". The recipient Harry Golombeck was a British Chess Champion throughout the 1940's and 1950's, earning the title of International Master in 1950 and awarded that of Honorary Grandmaster in 1985. He was appointed OBE in 1966, the first to be so honoured for services to chess.
Stock code: 18494