First edition of Laura by Vera Caspary, in the publisher’s scarce first state dust jacket.
Octavo, 237pp. Blue cloth, title in red on spine and front cover. No additional printings listed on copyright page. Title page features “1943” publishing date, removed for later printings. Solid text block, bookseller’s label on rear pastedown, bookplate removed from front free endpaper, a touch of rubbing to corners, a near fine example. In publisher’s first state dust jacket, $2.50 retail price on front flap, archivally repaired with tissue on verso, light wear to flap folds, toning to spine. First state points include $2.50 retail price on front flap, rear flap with advertisement for “PSYCHOTHRILLERS,” and rear panel with piece about author and “Buy War Bonds” ad. A scarce, very good example. Housed in custom cloth clamshell with dust jacket reproduction mounted to front panel. (Johnson, The Dark Page, p. 54).
Vera Caspary (1899-1987) was an American author and member of the Communist party under an alias. Laura was Caspary’s best-known work, originally released in a seven-part series in Collier’s magazine from October to November 1942. This copy is a first printing of the fully compiled series and was adapted into a film of the same name in 1944 starring Gene Tierney.