Graham Greene's Heart of the Matter proof copy makes $26,000

Graham Greene's own proof copy of The Heart of the Matter sold for £20,000 ($25,973) at Dreweatts & Bloomsbury on September 29.

It features the author's own notations in the margins, indicating the changes made just prior to publication.

Graham Greene Heart
Graham Greene made various changes to this proof copy

The Heart of the Matter is one of Greene's most celebrated novels. It tells the story of Major Henry Scobie, a British intelligence officer stationed in west Africa during world war two.  

It's inscribed: "For Frere with gratitude and affection from Graham Greene, April 1948."

Alexander Frere was Greene's publisher and close friend.

A signed first edition copy of Ian Fleming's On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963) realised £14,000 ($18,181).

The book is the 10th in Fleming's wildly popular James Bond series.

It's made out to Fleming's friend John Hayward with the cheery instruction: "To John To pick holes in! from Ian."

Hayward was co-editor at a magazine titled the Book Handbook (later the Book Collector), which Fleming acquired in 1952 - hence the editorial banter.

Other top lots included a first edition copy of Franz Kafka's Der Prozess (The Trial) in the original German.

It was printed in Berlin in 1925 by Kafka's executor Max Brod, who famously ignored his friend's instruction to burn all his manuscripts after his death.

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