First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good / Very Good. Item #4871
London: The Bodley Head, 1986. First Edition. Signed by the author on front free endpaper with green and red Christmas holly doodle to fellow writer and journalist William Safire with inscription: For Bill Safire, the Master Wordsmith, from his aged but still pedantic follower -- Alistair, Jan '96." Additional signed typed letter to Safire laid in at front.
Octavo; 204pp. Photographic dust jacket with publisher's later £12.95 price sticker over original price on inner flap; book in blue cloth with gilt lettering to spine. Jacket is crisp with faint shelfwear, but no chips or tears. Boards are sturdy and square. Sparse pencil brackets around a few paragraphs, with "Pakistani" corrected to "Urdu" in pen in margin of page 198.
Cook was a British writer who worked mainly in the U.S., recording his Letter from America series to be broadcast on BBC radio and later becoming the long-time host of Masterpiece Theatre. The Patient Has the Floor is a collection of addresses to various professional organizations (beginning with the titular address to the Mayo Clinic) given by Cooke from the perspective of the layman speaking back to the experts. In the letter, Cooke apologizes that this gifted edition isn't the better-printed American edition, and speaks briefly about his and a friend's favorite essays in the book.