New York: The Modern Library, circa 1939. Item #494
An early printing of Modern Library No. 45, Near Fine in a Near Fine jacket. Bound in green cloth with matching topstain and orange patterned endpapers. Spine cloth imperceptibly toned, spine gilt slightly dulled, with a few scattered spots of foxing to the side of the textblock. The jacket is a Near Fine example, reproducing the original artwork of the First Modern Library edition (1934). Price of 95 cents on the front flap, and mention of 265 titles both on the verso and rear panel; Toledano dates it circa 1939. Spine panel moderately toned, with some lighter toning, wear, and three tiny pin-sized holes along the flap folds. Overall, an attractive example of this classic detective novel, and the basis for three films: The Maltese Falcon (1931), Satan Met A Lady (1936), and the 1941 film noir starring Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade. The success of the 1941 film propelled the book's popularity back into the heart of American culture; The Modern Library sold about 27,000 copies during the decade. Scarce.