DescriptionM. P. Shiel. The Purple Cloud. London: Chatto & Windus, 1901. First Edition. Octavo. , 463, [1, blank], 4 (publisher's ads), 32 (publisher's catalog, dated May 1901) pages. Publisher's pictorial green cloth stamped in white, purple, and black. Corners bumped and rubbed, moderate edgewear, head and foot of spine pushed and somewhat worn. Cream endpapers; minor foxing, front hinge repaired, rear hinge starting, bookplate of Richard Manney (noted collector) and penciled bookseller notations to the front pastedown. Internally generally clean and tight, top edge trimmed and gilt, other edges rough trimmed; minor foxing, text block edges toned with minor wear. Publisher's catalog moderately, but evenly, toned. Very good.
"The Purple Cloud remains Shiel's masterpiece, still the best last-man novel. It is finely imagined and displays Shiel's stylistic brilliance at its best" (Bleiler). A reasonable, though perhaps biased, assessment of this novel, as Bleiler was granted a title of nobility in Redonda by John Gawsworth.
Anatomy of Wonder I, 2-138; Bleiler, Supernatural, 1468; Bleiler (1990), 2027; Morse, pages 58-61; Sutherland, Lives of the Novelists, pages 259-261. From the Gary Munson Collection
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