Rediscovered: “From Viv”

As the third author selected for Autograph Hound Super-Sunday, Kevin Cook pulls no less than E. Charles Vivian out of his sleeve — I bet you guys don’t see Vivian signatures raining down from the skies.

Obviously Kevin picked up this item for the inscription, since otherwise I don’t think a fourth printing would have much if any interest for him. He’s a hardcore book collector, which basically translates as First Editions, First British Editions, First Hardcover Editions. You book collectors know whereof I speak.

While the “To Lou” could possibly be a dedication to a man or a woman, Kevin thinks that “it reads like it was given to a woman he picked up, which is possible because he was supposed to be quite a ladies’ man in his day.

“See if you think the ‘Viv’ signature doesn’t look like it was written to a woman he had some sort of relationship with, whether sexual or otherwise.

“Being British he politely uses the word ‘evening’ rather than night.”

Best example I personally have ever seen of this idea was a first edition copy of Red Harvest inscribed by Hammett: “To Bettye/Affectionately yours,/ Dashiell Hammett.” No dustjacket, but the guy got it for a dollar at a garage sale.

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