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Lot 64: Rare Signed Photograph of James Hilton, British Author of Lost Horizon and Goodbye, Mr. Chips
Presidential Letters, Free Franks & Speeches: Washington to Bush + Important Autographs in History, Science & the Arts
26 October 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
Description: HILTON, JAMES. (1900-1954). British author of such popular novels as Lost Horizon and Goodbye, Mr. Chips. SP. (“James Hilton”). 1p. 12mo. (Los Angeles, February 1, 1936). (To Almira B. Taylor, an autograph collector.) A signed black-and-white photographic postcard of Hilton casually seated in the open door of a car with a cigarette in one hand and German Shepherds at his feet. ********** Hilton published his first novel at 20 and went on to pen numerous works including several best sellers. His Lost Horizon (1933) is credited with ushering in the paperback revolution after it became, in 1939, the first mass-market paperback title published by Pocket Books. Hilton’s depiction of the fictional Tibetan utopia of Shangri-La, popularized by the 1937 film adaptation of the same name, inspired the original name of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential hideaway, later named Camp David. Hilton’s 1924 novella Goodbye, Mr. Chips, a sentimental story of a traditional English schoolteacher, was likewise a bestseller and became a popular 1939 film. In the mid-1930s, Hilton relocated from his native England to Hollywood where he enjoyed a successful career as a screenwriter. His screenplay for Mrs. Miniver won him the 1942 Academy Award, and from 1948 to 1953 he hosted CBS Radio’s The Hallmark Playhouse. ********** In a 1951 profile published in the New York Herald Tribune Book Review, Hilton commented, “I dislike organized games, swimming pools, fashionable resorts, night clubs, music in restaurants, and political manifestoes; I enjoy driving from coast to coast, good food and drink, a few friends, dogs, the theatre, long walks, music and free conversation.” ********** Diagonally signed across the lower portion of the image in blue ink. With one light vertical crease, otherwise fine and uncommon.