Ian Mortimer


The Perfect King
A note on the first impression

I see that first editions of The Perfect King sometimes change hands for twice the original price or more - a fact which I find both surprising and gratifying. In view of this interest, collectors might like to know that the very first impression of the first edition had the plate sections reversed by mistake: the image of Edward III started the first plate section and that of Edward II started the second. The publishers rejected the edition and almost all copies were pulped. The edition which went on sale in March 2006 was thus the second impression (although it is marked as the first).

Of the first impression, a few copies escaped destruction. Some were in various offices around Random House at the time, and of course I had my own copy. I have since acquired another one. Probably two dozen copies of the first impression survive. It is thus by far my rarest book.