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2020-12-18 09:12:23
Regester, Seeley [pen name of Metta Victor]
The Dead Letter
New York: Beadle's Magazine, 1866. First Edition. 1st edition in 9 parts as issued. A posited 1864 edition is a chimera, reports of it stir needless uncertainty, all serializations with dates after 1866 are reprints, and all spellings of the author's pen name as "Register" are careless mistakes. Depending on how one defines "detective novel" The Dead Letter is arguably the first one by anybody anywhere, it is certainly the first detective novel written by a woman irrespective of how detective is defined, and it's the first by an American of either gender. Parts 1-6 (Jan.-June) are together in their original copper colored cloth, as issued, the only publisher's hardcover binding, 3 tiny dents to the front cover, a few rubs, and a small inscription, else near fine, fresh, unrepaired, and unexpectedly well preserved, and copies in leather, or any other cloth, are all rebound regardless of how they're described or what they are called. Parts 7-9 (Jul.-Sept.) are in their individual, original (publisher's), paper wrappers. All 3 have tears to their edges, the Aug. wrapper with a 1 1/2" chip, and the other 2 with smaller chips, else good, sound, integral and complete. All 9 vols. in a fine half morocco case. Rare like this, on the outskirts of probability, and even rebound copies are not common. Using the very loosest definition of documented detective narratives, they trace back to Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex (430 BC). More modern materializations as short stories, having some of the markers but lacking some too, include The Three Apples in The Arabian Nights (ca. 1000 AD), Volt … [Click Below for Full Description]
Bookseller: Biblioctopus [USA]

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