London: Anthony Blond Ltd., 1966. First Edition, First Printing. 8vo (8 x 5 1/2 inches; 204 x 153 mm), 191,  pages, in red cloth, gilt titles to spine, in an illustrated, unclipped dust jacket.SIGNED by Tom Stoppard on the front free end paper. Stoppard's first book and only novel, published when the author was 29. "At that age, at that stage of one's career, one doesn't let the opportunity go by," Stoppard told theatre critic Mel Gussow about the book, a hilarious and surreal romp set in London. "It's hard enough to get a publisher interested in a novel which is completed, let alone having a publisher commission a book, so naturally I wrote a novel. I haven't wanted to write a novel since." (Quoted in William Baker and Gerald N. Wachs, "Tom Stoppard: A Bibliographical History," 2010, page 215.) Sales of the book apparently were rather anemic. But then Stoppard was relatively unknown; the book appeared a year before the blockbuster play that put Stoppard on the map: "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead."This is the true first edition; an American edition was not published until 1968 by Knopf. Signed copies are scarce to the market. Baker and Wachs D2. SCARCE SIGNED. Item #1972
CONDITION: Gilt spine title bright and unfaded, top edge slightly soiled. Jacket extremities lightly toned, with a bit of soiling to the rear panel. A Very Good or better copy.