A selection of recent acquisitions and discoveries! Including detective fiction, weird fiction and literature set abroad.
London, Peter Davies, 1940.
First edition. 8vo. Frontispiece portrait, plates. Original cloth. Photographic dust-jacket, priced 8s6d.
A scarce find in the dust-jacket. The book chronicles Anahareo's adventures with the faux apache 'Grey Owl' as they travelled along the waterways of Northern Ontario, having met in Canada when she was 19. Not to be confused with the later Devil in Deerskins: My Life with Grey Owl, which is written after she had purportedly become aware that Grey Owl was in fact an Englishman named Archibald Stansfeld Belaney... Anahareo did not achieve the same fame as Grey Owl, but she played an important role in the conservation and animal rights movement, something she had been passionate about throughout her life.
A Series of Reminiscences and Adventures in Many Lands
London, Hurst & Blackett, .
First edition. Large 8vo. Plates. Original red cloth lettered & ruled in black. Dust-jacket, early issue, with '1st Cheap Edition' and 2/6 to the spine.
An excellent copy of this compilation of nine stories by Ashton-Wolfe, drawing upon his years immersed in the world of crime, first as an assistant to Alphonse Bertillon, the great advocate of criminal anthropometrics, in Paris, then as an interpreter in the British law courts. The striking jacket artwork is by Hookway Cowles.
Weird & Supernatural
London, Chapman & Hall, 1912.
'New and Cheaper Edition'. 8vo. 2pp. advertisements. Original cloth.
The first U.K. edition was published in 1909. One of only 2 fantasy titles written by Bennett, the other being The Ghost published in 1907.
According to Joshi, it is an elaboration of a short story of the same title and concerns Maurice Loring, a writer on music, who suffers a heart attack and appears to die. His soul leaves his body and experiences the wonders of the afterlife. Described as a 'unusual contribution to the literature of the cosmic'.
Weird & Supernatural
London, Burns Oates & Washbourne Ltd, 1928.
Early jacketed edition. 8vo. Original blue cloth lettered in gilt. Dust-jacket.
A rare jacketed issue of this important work by Father Benson, lauded in his own day as one of the leading figures in English literature, having written the notable novel Lord of the World (1907). This collection of supernatural horror stories, originally published in various periodicals and later collected in book form, examines "that horrible sense of silence round about us, in which dreadful forces are alert and watching us."
Weird & Supernatural
London and New York, Harper & Brothers, 1905.
First edition. 8vo. 4pp. advertisements. Publisher's claret cloth blocked in black to upper cover and lettered in gilt to spine.
An uncommon collection of mystery short stories imbued with the supernatural, from the creator of Father Brown. Includes 'Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown' which some have suggested predicts the concept of an alt-reality game. Each story focusses on a person who makes his living by some unusual means (the "queer trade" of the title). To gain admittance one must have invented a unique means of earning a living and the subsequent trade being the main source of income.
London, Thornton Butterworth, 1930.
First edition. 8vo. 1p. advertisements. Original green cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced at 7/6.
A tale of espionage, romance and Eastern exoticism, set just before the outbreak of WWI. An excellent copy.
and other stories of the Principality
London, Grant Richards, .
First edition. 8vo. Original red cloth lettered in black to spine. Dust-jacket, correctly priced at 7/6.
A very good first edition of this compilation of thrilling tales set in Monte Carlo.
London, F.V. White & Co., Ltd., 1915.
First edition. 8vo. Original red cloth lettered in black. Dust-jacket, priced 6/.
An uncommon murder mystery, particularly in the original 1915 dust-jacket, a rare survivor.
Horror & Gothic
London, Skeffinton & Son, 1898.
Fourth edition. 8vo. Title printed in red & black, frontispiece and 3 plates, patterned endpapers. Original dark pictorial cloth lettered in gilt & black.
An early edition, in very good condition, of the author's most well-known title, a classic of Gothic horror.
"In 'The Beetle' Marsh introduces the supernatural entity known variously as 'The Oriental', 'The Woman of Songs' or 'The Beetle'. This malignant, deformed creature is inhabited by the soul of an ancient Egyptian princess...[and] can turn at will into an insect, or alternatively into a man or a woman or an enigmatic amalgam of both." - Richard Dalby, Book and Magazine Collector No. 163 (1997).
Weird & Supernatural
and Mr. Ely's Engagement
London, James Bowden, 1899.
First edition. 8vo. Frontispiece, 12pp. advertisements. Original green pictorial cloth blocked in black & white, lettered in gilt to spine, partly uncut.
An excellent first edition of this work by the author of the oft underrated gothic classic The Beetle.
London, John Hamilton, .
First edition. 8vo. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced at 7/6.
A striking dust-jacket design on this rare work set in Malaysia, a strange blend of murder mystery and the weird, with no copies in trade at the time of listing.
A Study of the Detective Story
London, Wm Collins Sons & Co Ltd, 1931.
First edition. Large 8vo. Original black cloth lettered in red with red top-stain to text block. Dust-jacket with wraparound photographic artwork, correctly priced at 7/6.
First edition, described by Ellery Queen as "the most ambitious treatise on the detective story written in the, language" before Haycraft (In the Queen's Parlor, p.131).
"Despite the universal appeal of detective fiction, only recently has serious attention been paid to its technique. It is surely high time that criticism 'placed' detective fiction and officially recognised the conscientious craftsmanship that beguiles our leisure hours" (Foreword).
London, Elkin Mathews and Marrot, 1931.
First edition. 8vo. Original red cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced at 7s6d.
An attractively stylised jacket by D.V. Barry, on a murder mystery by American adventurer, stage actress, novelist and screenwriter Virginia Tracy.
Sci-Fi & Fantasy
London, Sampson Low Marston Searle & Rivington, 1887.
First English edition. 8vo. Plates; 1p. advertisement and 32pp. publisher's catalogue (correctly dated October 1886). Original pictorial pale blue cloth lettered in gilt and decorated in brown & white, gilt edges.
A bright and clean first UK edition of this classic sci-fi yarn by French maestro Jules Verne, originally published in France as Robur-le-Conquérant. The story was made into a 1961 movie, Master of the World, with Vincent Price as Robur.
London, Hodder & Stoughton, .
First edition. 8vo. 8pp. advertisements at end. Original cloth. Dust-jacket, correctly priced at 7/6.
A rare book in the original first issue dust-jacket, with striking artwork.
Worthington (Frank) The Witch Doctor and other Rhodesian Stories
London, The Field Press, .
First UK edition. Tall 8vo. Original red cloth lettered in black. Dust-jacket, correctly priced at 7/6.
Worthington first arrived in Africa as the personal secretary of Thorne Coryndon, the representative of the British South Africa Company, who was sent there to prepare for the British takeover of the Lozi kingdom, and when Coryndon was named Administrator of Northwest Rhodesia, Worthington continued to assist him and went on to become the first Secretary for Native Affairs there. This is a mix of anecdotes, ethnographical contributions and memoirs about the Central African days of yore. Very rare in the dust-jacket, which like the boards is titled, 'Chiromo the Witch Doctor'.