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    Description

    [J. Sheridan Le Fanu]. Ghost Stories and Tales of Mystery. Dublin: James McGlashan, 1851. First edition. With an autographed letter signed from M. R. James to Scottish criminologist, William Roughead, partially discussing this title, laid in. Octavo. 304 pages. Illustrated with engraved frontispiece and three plates by "Phiz." Publisher's pictorial red cloth decorated in blind and gilt. Corners just bumped and rubbed, moderate edgewear, head and foot of spine pushed and worn, joints starting, cocked, somewhat rubbed and soiled. Pale yellow endpapers; soiled, ink ownership to front free endpaper recto, dampstaining to rear endpapers, rear hinge just starting. Internally generally clean, all edges trimmed and gilt; penciled bookseller notations to the front free endpaper verso, gutter cracked at the title page, dampstaining to the top margin of the frontispiece but not affecting image, minor intermittent foxing, text block edges with minor wear and soiling. Housed in custom red clamshell case, spine lettered in gilt; sunned and somewhat rubbed, with the bookplate of William Roughead, Scottish criminologist and author. Good or better.

    An extremely scarce copy of an early and anonymous Le Fanu title, at one time recorded by S. M. Ellis as one of only a handful of copies. Is his Prologue to Le Fanu's other work, Madam Crowl's Ghost and other Tales of Mystery, M. R. James notes Le Fanu, "...stands absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories... nobody sets the scene better than he, nobody touches in the effective detail more deftly." Additionally, James references his own copy of this title in the Epilogue of Madam Crowl's Ghost, noting that it was lacking a plate.

    In the laid-in letter (dated 26 March 1929) to William Roughead, noted Scottish criminologist and author, M. R. James discusses his interested in following trials and true crime, his sincere appreciation of Roughead's kind words and gift of a book, and once more mentions his own copy of this Le Fanu work, expressing admiration for the author and his wish to see his other story, The House by the Churchyard, reprinted.

    Bleiler, Supernatural, 993; Crawford 91; Ellis, page 184; Sadleir 1376; Wolff 4013a. From the Gary Munson Collection


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2021
    14th Thursday
    Internet/Mail Bids: 14
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