The Riddle of the Sands - A Record of Secret Service recently achieved. Edited by Erskine Childers - Erskine Childers 1903 - Smith, London - First Edition, First Impression A crisp, clean and rare first edition, finely bound.

Written when Childers, an accomplished yachtsman, was thirty years old. Highlighting the encroaching conflict with Germany, the novel was highly influential and is actually credited with the founding of British naval bases at Invergordon and Scapa Flow; newly regarded as strategically important after examination of the scenarios in Childers' text. Winston Churchill later gave the book the credit for persuading public opinion to fund vital measures against the German naval threat.

Contentiously described as the first modern spy thriller, vying for the title with Kipling's '
Kim', published two years earlier.
  Educated at Trinity College Cambridge, Robert Erskine Childers DSC [1870-1922], who served as a Major in Naval intelligence during the First World War, was of course a staunch advocate of Irish Home Rule and was found guilty of possessing a firearm in contravention of the Irish Emergency Powers Resolution and sentenced to death by an Irish Free State firing squad in 1922. His characteristically humorous last words to the firing squad were 'Take a step or two closer lads, it'll be easier that way.' Author, soldier and intelligence officer :1, British Government: nil.

Reference: Toy,
Adventures Afloat 5391.

Octavo (binding size 19.1x13.4cm), pp. [2] xii 336 [4 (publisher’s catalogue)] [4].
  Finely bound in recent full black morocco, with raised bands, gilt titles and ruling to spine, single gilt filet border to boards, top edge gilt, marbled endpapers, with the publisher's original cloth upper panel bound in at rear.   Condition: Near fine, crisp and clean with some light markings, in fine binding.   Ref: 111661   Price: HK$ 24,000