London: HarperCollins [Harper Collins], 1999. First Edition. Hardcover. First Impression (no further printings noted), in the scarce first state dust jacket, with 'earing' misspelled on back panel. Small 8vo: ,248,pp. Publisher's French blue cloth, spine stamped in gilt (still brilliant); pictorial dust jacket, priced £9.99. Signed by Chevalier on title page. Laid in is a ticket from the literature festival in Derby where the book was autographed. Fine (small decorative book plate to front fly leaf) in about Fine jacket (tiny nick to base of spine). Fine / Fine-. Item #BB1510
¶ The author's second novel, which sold more than five million copies worldwide and was translated into 36 languages. Supposedly, a poster of Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring," hanging on Chevalier's bedroom wall for some 15 years, inspired this novel set in 17th century Delft. Chevalier was lying in bed gazing absent-mindedly at the poster when she fixed on the mysterious girl's expression (her half open mouth and expectant gaze) and decided to write the novel as a way of filling gaps in the interrupted narrative. The girl became a servant named Griet, who sits for the painting by her master wearing his wealthy wife's jewels in her ear. In the 2003 film the novel inspired, Scarlett Johansson appears as Griet, with Colin Firth as the painter of quiet domestic scenes. N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, with dust jackets carefully preserved in archival, removable polypropylene sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed.