Beat The Devil
T.V. Boardman and Company, January 1953. First Edition. Cloth. Used - Very Good / Fair. Item #234552
First/first in dustjacket with two inch piece lost from base of spine. Elsewise in jacket overall good with edgewear: with a few (four) 1/2-inch closed tears & a single one-inch closed tears. Some rubbing & darkening. Not price clipped. Original British price is 10s. 6d. net bottom corner of front flap. Steel blue cloth boards with gold lettering on spine edge. Cloth slightly bruised & faded bottom of spine. Sound binding with some give. Mild spine lean. Non-authorial inscription inked front pastedown. Tanning to front free end pages. Text is clean, without markings. No underlining. No side notes. Etc. Textblock edges subtle browning with a handful of tiny tan spots. James Helvick was the pseudonym of the great Claud Cockburn (1904-1981), patriarch of an extended family of journalist/writers. One of his grandfathers was a judge. His father was a British Consul General, and Evelyn Waugh was a cousin. Yet, there was little in his genetic background to suggest the left turn that happily brought Claude toward radical-left journalism. Yet his influence seems to have taken hold. Three of his sons turned out to be leftist writer/journalist: Alexander Cockburn (1914 - 2012), Andrew Cockburn & Patrick Cockburn. And one of his daughters was activist, Sarah Cockburn Flanders (1933 - 1998). Both Sarah's daughters: Laura Flanders & Stephanie Hope Flanders are journalists. Cockburn published 21 books, but Beat the Devil was his only novel, and it appears his best known work.In 1953 John Huston, turned the book into a movie ( from screenplay by Huston and Truman Capote) with Humphrey Bogart. The book was first published in the U.S. by J.B. Lippincott, and not published until 1953 in the UK with this edition by T.V. Broadman. This was odd, and reverse the usual order of publishing books by British writers, first in the UK, then shortly after in the U.S. I am not certain why or how this occured or how Cockburn/Helvick landed his parody-thriller at this weird, pulp mystery/crime imprint: T.V. Boardman & Company, Inc. Other than this one title the most interesting title from the T.V. Boardman list (that I am aware of) is The Trouble With Harry by Jack Trevor Story. The Jack Trevor Story book was made into one of the strangest, and strangely wonderful of Alfred Hitchcock's films. The 1955 movie featured the film debut of Shirley MacLaine, and a protagonist corpse, of course, named Harry.