Lot 2019 (Fine Art & Antiques, 14th December 2019)
John Lennon, In His Own Write, Jonathan Cape 30 Bedford Square London, early edition, signed by John Lennon to the opening page in blue ink, the opposing side inscribed in another hand 'Foyles Luncheon, Dorchester Hotel 23rd April 1964'.
Note: This whimsical book of surrealist poems, drawings and short stories was the first solo endeavour by any of The Beatles. Originally published in March 1964, it was a huge success – reportedly selling 50,000 copies on the first day of its release in England.
To celebrate the books success, Lennon was invited to a literary luncheon hosted by Foyle’s at the prestigious Dorchester Hotel in London, for which he took a break from filming A Hard Day’s Night. Also in attendance were the Earl of Arran, Arthur Askey, Harry Secombe, Mary Quant, Helen Shapiro and a crowd of press people amongst others. Unfortunately, Lennon was not aware that he was expected to make a speech or that the event was anything more than a casual lunch; and according to his wife Cynthia they were both painfully hungover. When the moment arrived, with the press and attendees waiting with bated breath to hear from the ‘intelligent’ Beatle, a terrified John Lennon stood and said "Er, thank you all very much, and God bless you." Apparently the disappointment was palpable and it was seen as a typical Lennon snub of the establishment, but he tried to make up for it by signing copies of his book – including this volume for a relative of the current vendor who was in attendance.
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