Monday, September 21

Princess Diana French President Giscard

First Edition Books - The Princess and the President by Valery Giscard d'Estaing

In one of the most extraordinary literary developments in recent years, the former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing has written a novel about a love affair between an unhappy British princess, who bears a striking resemblance to Princess Diana, and a French President.

(French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing and Princess Diana - in Versailles in 1994 - Capture) Giscard d'Estaing and Princess Diana

La Princesse et le President - wiil be published by Éditions de Fallois-XO (The Princess and the President) in October but already people are speculating whether the story is is fact or fantasy.

Giscard d'Estaing, French President from 1974-1981, gives his fictional President the name of Jacques-Henri Lambertye, and names the heroine Princess Patricia of Cardiff, "a town in Wales."

The pair meet at Buckingham Palace and the princess reveals her sad plight to the French President and embark upon a passionate affair. Is Giscard, who met Princess Diana in 1994, in Versailles, living out the fantasy of a secret liaison?

"A dozen days before my wedding, my future husband came and told me that he had a mistress and that he had to decided to carry on seeing her after our marriage," says Princess Pat, in a confession very similar to the situation that existed between Prince Charles and Lady Diana.

The book contains much wishful thinking but has fuelled rumours that the tale might be true by penning a cryptic inscription in the book: "Promise kept." It also contains the strange phrase in English "I wish that you love me". I say strange because it doesn't make a lot of sense in English and it is hard to believe that an English person would use that exact phrase, except perhaps in response to the question "What do you wish?".

He ends the book by writing "You asked my permission for you to write your story," she told me. "I give you it, but you must make me a promise ..."

Le Figaro expects the book to cause a stir. No doubt both the royal family and Mr Al Fayed will be reading it closely.

Only Giscard d'Estaing holds the key to whether it is fiction or reality says Le Figaro.
Giscard was 55 when he lost power and photographs show that he met Diana publicly in the years after his election defeat.

One Reuters picture her smiling delightedly at Giscard.

As is well-known, Diana died in a car crash under the Pont de l'Alma in Paris in 1997 with her boyfriend, Dodi al Fayed. According to media reports Giscard and his wife were the first to send flowers to the hospital where her body was taken.

The book is bound to cause a stir when it is published on 1st October to say the least perhaps an almighty ruckus so it might be worth grabbing yourself a copy or two of the first edition, signed by Mr Giscard d'Estaing if at all possible (although book signings are not so well-known in France).

Monday, September 14

Brown Lost Symbol First Editions

First Edition Books - Dan Brown The Lost Symbol - A Good Investment?

Dan Brown's latest book and no doubt soon-to-be best-seller The Lost Symbol goes on sale tomorrow and according to the hype is expected to put Washington on the map (for those who don't know where Dan Brown The Lost SymbolWashington is already). So these are the first edition of the book - but are they likely to represent a good investment?

In the book Robert Langdon, Dan Brown's Harvard symbiologist, dashes around the Capitol in a 12-hour battle against a muscular tattooed eunuch. He is assisted in his epic battle by the wise Dr Katherine Solomon, a Noetic scientist (a noetic scientist is supposed to explore the nature and potentials of consciousness through the application of multiple ways of knowing — including (but not limited to) intuition, feeling, reason, and the senses) (isn't that what we all do?).

The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown

The Lost Symbol was reviewed today in The New York Times, under the dysnoetic title "Fasten Your Seat Belts, There's Code to Crack". The reviewer Janet Maslin suggests Dan Brown fans will not be disappointed. She says that Dan Brown has avoided the trap of following a huge hit by a flopping embarrassment, stating that he is "bringing sexy back to a genre that had been left for dead." - not sure what she means but it sounds good.

For the record it was Maslin's uncharacteristically rave review for The Da Vinci Code which helped propel it to the top of the bestseller charts.

The Da Vinci Code made Brown a household name and has sold over 80 million copies in 44 languages. No doubt The Lost Symbol will also be a great success and I suppose we can expect a film to follow.

In The Lost Symbol Langdon heads for the Capitol building, where he has been invited to speak by Peter Solomon, Katherine's brother. Maslin summarizes as follows [skip the next few sentences if you don't want to know ] : "And here comes Mr Brown’s first neat trick: The Solomon summons was fake. There’s no audience waiting"

"Just as Langdon realises he has been lured to Washington under a false pretext, a shriek arises from the Rotunda. Some fiend has deposited Peter Solomon’s severed, tattooed hand right above the Capitol Crypt — and right below the dome art that depicts George Washington, founding father and Freemason, as an ascending deity."

Is the Lost Symbol, published by Random House, likely to be a good investment as a first edition - well the initial print run is 5 million so really not much rarity value there. But you could always try and pick up a signed copy or two for the cover price - and lock them away for a few years.

The book is however expected to boost sales of the Amazon Kindle ebook reader as users download the electronic version instead of getting the real thing.
Dan Brown Digital Fortress First Novel

The Digital Fortress

As far as first editions go you will probably be better advised to try and find a signed copy of a first edition of Dan Brown's first novel Digital Fortress - the cheapest one I've seen on Abebooks is $950 for a copy with a signed bookplate and $1450 for a copy signed directly to the title page. But a search through auction sites may turn up cheaper copies.

The cheapest signed first editions of the Da Vinci Code appears to be around $200 but again a more extensive search might throw up more.