Paris: Julliard, 1950. First French Edition, preceding the British and American editions by two years. Review copy, with the letters "S.P." (Service de Presse) printed on the lower right corner of the rear panel. INSCRIBED by Arnaud to author and literary critic Marcel Arland on the half-title page: "A Monsieur Marcel Arland, cordial homage de Georges Arnaud."
Together with this copy is an original black and white photograph of Yves Montand, INSCRIBED by him in the lower left corner: "en tout sympathie - Yves Montand."
The story of Arnaud and Arland's association is interesting, and tied to Arnaud's mysterious criminal case. In October 1941, Arnaud allegedly came home to find his father, aunt, and one of the help gruesomely murdered. The circumstances were damning, and a combination of presumptions, public rumor, and a capricious judge appeared to guarantee Arnaud a trip to the guillotine. During the 19 months of incarceration prior to the author's trial, Arland was a fierce advocate for the author's release, writing a number of articles in his defense for the major French newspapers. Six months after the trial opened, Arnaud's lawyer, Maurice Garçon (who had successfully defended Jean Genet at his obscenity trial for "Our Lady of the Flowers") managed to convince a jury that his client was innocent, secured his release, and all charges were dropped.
The novel was a huge success in France, selling more than two million copies. The story ultimately served as the basis for the classic 1953 French film noir "The Wages of Fear," directed by Henri-Georges Clouzot and starring Yves Montand and Charles Vanel. A superb historical association.
About Fine in wrappers, with a trace of toning to the spine. Photograph Near Fine.