According to the Evidence – Henry Cecil (Harper & Brothers, 1954)

If it was hard to find any information at all regarding The Runaway Pigeon it was basically impossible to find anything whatsoever about this book. It’s not in any of the articles i’ve found or anywhere else. It wasn’t until Guy Minnebach very gracefully shared his list of “Warhol dust jackets” with me that i found out the book even existed. As i remember it he also shared images of some of the books so i would know what to look for. So then i of course went straight to Amazon with the crazy idea of making an easy pick up. This was also before i understood that Amazon US and UK were two seperate sites and at first i had a hard time finding it at all on the US site which was a bit of a bummer of course. Not even something to put on my wish list… But once i caught the drift i starting looking around the UK site where i at least got to see a familiar image. I was a little stunned to see that there were about 10 copies available and thought that for sure one of these would be the correct one. But after a lot of emails back and forth i can now save anyone with the same idea both the time and trouble and let you that none of these are the “Warhol edition”. As with The Adventures of Maud Noakes there is another edition published by Chapman & Hall, but unlike that book this edition has a different dust jacket design.

As i’ve said i’ve never seen it anywhere before, a couple of the hard to find ones you will at least see laying around somewhere with crazy asking prices of $600 or something like that. But with this one, nothing. Not even an image from some old listing on ebay. Anyways, even though it’s in my saved searches thing on ebay i still somehow managed to miss this listing that Guy tipped me off to a couple of months ago. By then we had already worked out our trade and though in pretty good shape that book was missing the lower part of the dust jacket that appears to have been torn off. But had i not gotten offered a virtually flawless copy i would definitely have been all over that auction. I’m saving my general thoughts about the interest in these dust jackets for a post where i was planning to sum up my first year collecting these. And this post is actually long overdue but i’ve gotten so many additions in the last months that i want to post those first. Anyways, even with the tear a selling price of about $15 for this rare and great looking dust jacket is just ridiculous!

So, what else… well, the book was written by a brit namned Henry Cecil and this edition was published in 1954 by Harper & Brothers. The author seems to have been a predecessor to todays king of court room stories – John Grisham. Apparently Cecil was a judge and wrote more than twenty books in the crime fiction genre, most published in the 50’s and 60’s. As this time period seems to be the heyday of Warhol designed dust jackets and book covers i’ve been trying to find images of all his books. But so far i’ve yet to come up with anything interesting…

I don’t know anything about the design really. To me the drawing is similiar to the one on The Immortal as well as the one on the cover to The Nation’s Nightmare but that’s about it. I know a little bit about the story though. And i assume the man on the cover is either murdered or a murderer. Or, quite interestingly, he might actually be both. Apparently the book starts of as a murder mystery where a woman is killed and all the evidence points to this one man who is later aquitted in court. Naturally, shortly after this another woman turns up dead. And then shortly after that the aquitted man himself is found murdered. So now the murderer of a murderer has to stand trial. Reward him or start assembling the guillotine? I’ll have to read the whole thing to tell that you the answer to that though…

As usual i’ll end with a few words about the condition. And in this case, once again, there’s really not that much to say. It really is in fantastic shape, almost perfect! The front cover, which of course is the most important, has no issues what so ever really. As with my copy of The Desire and Pursuit of the Whole someone has used the book as support while writing but luckily the plastic cover has done what it’s supposed to do and the markings has not pushed through to the actual cover. And these markings don’t show unless you look at it both very closely and from a certain angle, so… who cares!? I do wonder though if these people knew they were using a Warhol artwork as support, i think not. The thin black border that runs both on the top and bottom of the dust jackets i’ve been told was put there to protect the egdes of the dust jacket from starting to tear. As with as couple of others of my books this has been in and out of a few libraries. First Seymour Public Library in Indiana and after that it’s been at the Indiana Bible College where is was finally discarded. That place sounds like a real hoot, maybe the story was deamed to provocative with all the murders and whatnot…

This is a really great looking dust jacket and i love the design with the green and white on black background. I’m also going to have a go at rare ranking my collection in a later post. Without putting to much thought into it i would say that this is definitely in the top five, maybe even in the top three… This also concludes part two of my awsome trade with Guy Minnebach. I won’t give anything away about the third item other than that it’s not a book but a record… Finally it’s quite an odd but also somewhat cool feeling that soon these will be the first and so far only images of this book on Google…Thanks again Guy!

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5 thoughts on “According to the Evidence – Henry Cecil (Harper & Brothers, 1954)

  1. Pingback: A year of reading Andy Warhol… | ratfab

  2. Pingback: Highs and lows of 2014 | ratfab

  3. Pingback: More alternative covers and more from Warhol by the Book | ratfab

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