The Innocent Voyage [A High Wind in Jamaica]
New York: Harper, 1929. First edition, published in the US in February 1929 and in Britain as A High Wind in Jamaica, in late September. Full red goatskin, top edge gilt, decorated turn-ins, marbled endpapers; a presentation binding. Inscribed by Hughes "To Isabel Paterson / With the warmest gratitude and the deepest respect from Richard Hughes / June 19, 1929". Slight rubbing to edges,
Hughes's biographer quotes Hughes as saying that the book got off to a very slow start, and that "It was taken up by just one or two critics, notably Isabel Peters [sic] and Burton Roscoe [sic] who plugged it for all they were worth, week after week. I was in New York myself at the time, and Harpers kept me in constant circulation, at lunches, cocktail parties and so on," - Richard Percival Graves, Richard Hughes: A Biography (London, 1994), p. 177. Paterson liked the book so much that she would go on to write the 17-page introduction to the Modern Library edition in 1932. From 1924 until 1949 Paterson was one of the most influential literary critics, whose daily book reviews for the New York Herald Tribune could make or break a book. As well she wrote longer pieces for the Sunday Books section, but she was best known for her weekly column "Turns with a Bookworm," written under the initials "I.M.P.", which mixed literary anecdotes and reviews with her evolving conservative political views. A confirmed libertarian, she wrote nine novels, the most famous of which was The God of the Machine, published the same year (1943) as her friend Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Paterson and Rand were very close, with Paterson in the role of libertarian teacher. "If Rand ever had a mentor, it was Paterson," says her biographer, Stephen Cox.
As "A High Wind in Jamaica," this story of a ship full of English children captured by pirates was filmed in 1965, directed by Alexander Mackendrick and starring Anthony Quinn and James Coburn. Martin Amis, then 16 years-old, had a part. Item #28518