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London: Methuen & Co., 1894.. Octavo, pp. [i-v] vi [vii-viii] [1] 2-328 + 32-page publisher's catalogue dated "October 1894" inserted at rear, original red cloth, spine panel stamped in gold, all edges untrimmed. First edition. 6000 copies printed. This collection includes two fantasy tales, "Lot No. 249," a reanimated mummy, and "The Los Amigos Fiasco," attempt to electrocute a criminal creates a superhuman prisoner who cannot be killed. This collection began as a series of eight stories commissioned by Jerome K. Jerome for his IDLER MAGAZINE, but, of the eight, only three appeared there, the other five having been rejected for being too "realistic" (which, as a term of literary criticism in this period, usually means horrific, morbid, or downright depraved). In his preface, Doyle notes that a red lamp "is the usual sign of a general practitioner in England." He defends the emphasis in these stories on "the graver side of life," and compares their action on the reader to a tonic, "bitter to the taste but bracing in the result." Barron (ed), Horror Literature 2-20. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 553. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 610. Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 3-74. Bleiler (1978), p. 63. Green and Gibson A16a. Wolff 1915. Early owner's signature on half title page and his bookplate on the front paste-down, latter partially obscured by later bookplate of collector Edgar Wadsworth Smith. Spine lean, touch of wear at upper spine end, hairline crack along inner front hinge, some age-darkening to endpapers, still a very good copy. (#130281)
      [Bookseller: L. W. Currey, Inc. ]
Last Found On: 2017-10-08           Check availability:      ABAA    


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