William Faulkner, Knight's Gambit, Uncorrected Proof. One of three known copies.

William Faulkner, Knight's Gambit, Uncorrected Proof. One of three known copies.

FAULKNER, William (1897-1962). Knight’s Gambit. New York: Random House, 1949. Uncorrected proof of the first edition, “for advance readers.” [148] unnumbered and unbound leaves printed on proof paper on rectos only. Original blue paper covers, tied at the top. 29 x 15 cm.  Large printed yellow label to front wrapper, stamped “File Copy / Please return to / Publicity Department / Random House, Inc.” Some fragile leaves slightly chipped at margin, else a fine copy. In a custom clamshell slipcase.

The Nobel Laureate’s sole contribution to crime fiction, a collection of five stories and a novella (published here for the first time) featuring Gavin Stevens, county attorney in Jefferson, Mississippi, the seat of Yoknapatawpha County. Stevens would have his greatest day in court in Intruder in the Dust.  Rather incongruously, one of the stories here was published first in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine.

A very rare state of the book: we know the whereabouts of two other copies, both in institutional collections. The present copy was originally sold by John Howell Books we think in the 1980s for $3250. The only other copy we have seen on the market was sold by Serendipity Books (Petersen catalogue, item A27.1) in 1991 for $8500. Petersen A25a; Brodsky 680

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    William Faulkner, Knight's Gambit, Uncorrected Proof. One of three known copies.


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    William Faulkner, Knight's Gambit, Uncorrected Proof. One of three known copies.