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London, New York and Bombay: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1902.. Octavo, pp. [1-12] [1] 2-418 [419-424: ads], seven inserted plates with illustrations by H. J. Ford, original pictorial gray cloth, front and spine panels stamped in red and black, black coated endpapers. First British edition, much enlarged. Lang's last book of adult fiction, a collection of linked stories, is "fundamentally uncategorizable, though its sections have some resemblance to the club story; some of its episodes deal with submarines, occult sects, spectres and so forth, all used -- as Roger Lancelyn Green noted in the best work on Lang, Andrew Lang (1946) -- to replace the traditional 'magical devices of the fairy tale' with the latest scientific developments, though retaining the magical function." - Clute and Nicholls (eds), The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (1993), p. 689. "A curious book in which The Society of Disentanglers, acting very much like a private detective agency, solves 'mysteries' arising out of undesirable matrimonial entanglements." - Queen, The Detective Short Story, p. 64. "This is the most successful of Lang's attempts at humorous fiction, and is written in a fashion that is all his own. It belongs to the class of "The New Arabian Nights" in that it is a series of fantastic adventures set in a real-life setting, and told with humor: but Lang's touch is lighter and more whimsical than Stevenson's, and more full of literary allusion ... It is strange to find Lang, who professed to loathe all things mechanical, introducing submarines and wireless telegraphy at a time when these were in their infancy ... but he seems to have been among the earliest storytellers to hit upon the idea of using the latest scientific developments to replace the magical devices of the fairy-tale. While some of the adventures suggest a comparison to Raffles, the last in the book is an excellent detective story, and in reading it, one regrets that Lang did not attempt this type of fiction more seriously." - Green, Andrew Lang, pp. 198-99. Reginald 08588. Not in Bleiler (1948; 1978). Hubin (1994), p. 483. Bookplate of a house at the University of Aberdeen affixed to the front paste-down. Spine panel just a bit tanned, mild foxing to half title and title leaves and edges of the text block, else a nearly fine copy. (#118672)
      [Bookseller: L. W. Currey, Inc.]
Last Found On: 2017-06-06           Check availability:      Biblio    


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