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The Moonstone [Signed]
New York: Harper & Brothers, 1868. First edition. Hardcover. Very Good. A Very Good copy of the first American edition, first printing, in the Publisher's original brown cloth with the spine lettered and decorated in gilt (spine ends worn, board corners and board bottoms rubbed through, some rubbing through to the top edge of each board), SIGNED, PLACED, AND DATED BY WILKIE COLLINS on the front free endpaper as follows "Wilkie Collins / New York / 1873." Wilkie Collins' Masterpiece, his most important novel, and, along with "The Woman in White", his most famous work, the story centers on an English woman, Rachel Verinder, and the diamond that she inherits on her eighteenth birthday. Known as the Tippoo diamond and sacred to the Hindus as the centerpiece in their idol of the god of the Moon, the gem had been stolen by John Herncastle who, while fighting for the British Army in India in 1799, killed the three Brahmins guarding the diamond, stole it, and took it back to his native England. On his death, Herncastle left the diamond to Rachel, stipulating that it be given to her on her eighteenth birthday. Thus, decades after its theft, Rachel receives the diamond and wears it at her birthday celebration. In the morning, the diamond is found to be missing. The man Rachel loves, and who loves Rachel in return, was seen taking the diamond, is accused of having stolen it, and seeks to prove his innocence. The tale was serialized in 32 installments by Charles Dickens in his "All the Year Round" magazine from January 4 to August 8, 1868. Both Tinsley Brothers and Harper published the complete novel in book form in July, 1868, shortly before its serialization was completed. (No priority between the UK first and the US first has been established.) An extraordinarily important work, "The Moonstone" has been declared by many to be the first detective novel ever published. While some argue that the title should go to "The Notting Hill Mystery", published pseudonymously in serial form in 1862 and in book form in 1865, T. S. Eliot declared "The Moonstone" to be "the first, the longest, and the best of modern English detective novels in a genre invented by Collins and not by Poe", and described it as being "brilliant without being infallible". Dorothy Sayers called it "probably the very finest detective story ever written" and, in agreement with both Eliot and Sayers, GK Chesterton called it "probably the best detective tale in the world". The book provided the basis for the 1934 critically-acclaimed movie of the same name starring David Manners, Charles Irwin, and Phyllis Barry. Signed copies of the book are absolute hen's teeth. A Very Good copy of one of the most important novels ever published, SIGNED, PLACED, AND DATED BY WILKIE COLLINS AND RARE THUS.
      [Bookseller: Allington Antiquarian Books, LLC]
Last Found On: 2014-10-02           Check availability:      Biblio    

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