Essay Writer

[illus. LE BRETON, Constant] KESSEL, Joseph


Paris: NRF, 1925

4to, pp. 185. Blue heavy board three-quarter binding, title and author in gilt to red goat leather banded spine. Wrappers and preliminaries bound in. Marbled endpapers, blue silk bookmark. French text. Ownership label ('A. Constable Maxwell Chateau de Vallamand Vaud 1581 Suisse') to front marbled endpaper.

Limited edition, one of 437 copies, of this Great War novel first published in 1923.

Argentinian-born Kessel served as an airman in both world wars. The central character, Squadron Leader Captain Gabriel Thélis, is named in honour of Captain Thélis Vachon, under whom Kessel served in the First World War. French film adaptations of the novel appeared in 1928 and 1935; an American version starring Paul Muni was directed by Anatole Litvak in 1937. (Kessel is better known in the world of cinema as the author of the 1928 novel Belle de Jour, source for Luis Bunuel's 1967 film.)

The later ownership label to the front endpaper may be that of Ann Constable Maxwell [1927-2013], daughter of Wing Commander Gerald Constable Maxwell MC DFC AFC DL [1895-1959] who was credited with twenty-six aerial victories during WW1.

Keywords: Joseph KESSEL Constant LE BRETON"

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