THE SUNDIAL. New York: Farrar, Straus and Cudahy, . Octavo, cloth-backed boards. First edition. Presentation copy with signed inscription by Jackson on front free endpaper: "For Isabel Sherword -- / Gratefully, / Shirley Jackson." THE SUNDIAL, "one of the most bizarre works in Jackson's oeuvre, seems to have been a prelude to WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE: the Halloran family becomes convinced that the rest of the world is going to end, and the narrative tone suggests that this belief might in fact be correct; the novel is occupied with the family's preparations to continue life after the rest of humanity has ceased to exist. Both these novels, as well as a number of short stories -- especially the celebrated 'One Ordinary Day, with Peanuts' (1955) -- display the misanthropy that is a central element of Jackson's work, and one which she conveys with consummate skill ... All Jackson's work -- with the exception, perhaps of THE BIRD'S NEST, a clumsy novel about multiple personality -- is subtle, powerful and flawlessly written; it reveals Jackson's keen insight into human personality and human society and her cynical, even jaundiced view of the world and its occupants. She has left a legacy of complex, richly textured horror writing that requires little or no bloodletting for its haunting effectiveness." - S. T. Joshi, Pringle (ed), St. James Guide to Horror, Ghost & Gothic Writers, p. 292. "Comic modern Gothic novel concerned with the eccentric Halloran family who shut themselves away on the family's estate to await the apocalypse prophesied by the ghost of the family patriarch ... It can be read as a lighter treatment of the themes of isolation and family madness that dominate WE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE (1962)." - Barron (ed), Fantasy and Horror (1999) 6-182. Barron (ed), Horror Literature 4-156. Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 4-120. Winter list, p. 269. A fine copy in fine dust jacket with touch of wear at tail of spine panel. A sharp copy. Books signed or inscribed by Jackson are uncommon. (#100273).
"First Printing, 1958" on copyright page.