The Thirty-Nine Steps - John Buchan 1915 - William Blackwood and Sons, Edinburgh and London - First Edition Penned in the early months of the first world war, while Buchan was writing for the War Propaganda Bureau and as a correspondent for The Times in France. Described as ‘the perfect thriller’, The Thirty-Nine Steps introduced the world to spy-catcher Richard Hannay, who was based on a friend of Buchan’s from his days serving in South Africa - Edmund Ironside.

The Thirty-Nine Steps clearly struck deep chords with the reading public of a Europe riven by war, because it sold twenty-five thousand copies in less time than it takes to fill a pipe whilst on the run across the Scottish highlands pursued by dastardly agents of a foreign power. Richard Hannay was, quite simply, everything that Britons should be and a personification at the time of everything they very much needed to be.

The neat card signed by John Buchan is an added bonus included with this nice example of the first edition with little of the usual toning caused by the cheap paper stock. Housed in custom clamshell case, navy morocco leather over matching cloth, spine lettered in gilt, felt lined.
  Famously brought to the big screen in 1935 by Alfred Hitchcock, and considered one of the legendary director's greatest pictures.

The Thirty-Nine Steps was first serialised in the June 5th and 12th 1915 issues of the All-Story Magazine of New York, and across the July, August and September issues of Blackwood's Magazine under the pseudonym ‘H. de V.’.

References: Blanchard,
John Buchan: A Collector's Bibliography A32. Haining, Crime Fiction 193. BC [9/2006] 26. Listed in The Observer's All-Time 100 Best Novels [2003].

Octavo (19 x 13 cm). pp. 253 [1] [2 (publisher’s ads)]. In publisher’s light blue cloth, lettered in dark blue to spine and front board. We have noted two variant shades of cloth, one being far paler blue than the other, this is the lighter shade variant.
  Condition: Near fine, faint spotting to cloth, light foxing to endpapers, and the standard toning to outer margins of pages as commonly encountered with this edition, rear hinge starting , text block slightly shaken with one or two gatherings over-opened.   Ref: 109083   Price: HK$ 13,000