Ritual | 1967, first edition, Christopher Lee's own copy of the book that was the basis for 'The Wicker Man'. Signed by Lee.

£3,900.00 GBP

Christopher Lee's own copy of the book that was the inspiration for one of the most iconic folk horrors of all time, The Wicker Man.

A near fine example of what is already a rare title, made all the rarer with such sterling provenance and with the addition of a slip signed by Christopher Lee.

Sir Christopher Lee CBE (1922-2015) was an acclaimed English actor, singer, author, and WWII veteran. He was featured in renowned films like 'The Wicker Man' and 'The Man With the Golden Gun', but is more notably recognized for his iconic portrayal of Count Dracula in the Hammer Horror series, and later as Saruman in the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy.

David Pinner sold the film rights to the book to Christopher Lee in 1971, which was then used as the source material for the iconic 1973 film 'The Wicker Man' starring Edward Woodward, Britt Ekland, and of course Christopher Lee. The Wicker Man has chieved cult like status over the years and is considered a film that changed Horror.

A child lies dead in a Cornish village. The circumstances point to a ritual murder. From London a policeman, Detecrive Inspector David Hanlin, is sent to investigate. But David Pinner, a young actor and playwright, has in no sense written a conventional detective novel. Rather, his first novel, Ritual, is a black comedy, a percepetive investigation into the absurdity and perversity of whiuch human behaviour and beilef are capable. The trith of the situation emerges, most cunningly, at the end of the novel. 

Thorn is the archetypal village of fiction, with squire, vicar, tradesmen and the familiar gang of village children. But it has sinister erotic undertones; murmurs of witchcraft; whispers of occult happenings; a midsummer eve ritual that stems from a remote pagan past. What is the connection between the murders and the secret life of the Village?..... (Jacket blurb)

Description and Condition:

First edition, first printing, 8vo, Original publisher's black cloth, lettered silver at the spine. A near fine example with a wonderful example of the dustjacket designed by Peter Edwards. The jacket has minor edge-ware but presents beautifully. From the book collection of Christopher Lee with his ownership signature included on a piece of paper tipped onto the Front endpaper, signed Christopher F C Lee. 

Published by New Authors Limited, 1967.

Provenance: From the library of Christopher Lee. Acquired by Any Amount of Books, directly from Christopher Lee's widow, then sold to John Atkinson Rare Books, who in turn sold it to the present owner of whom I am selling this on behalf of.