A HANDFUL OF DARKNESS. London, Melbourne, Sydney, Auckland, Bombay, Cape Town, New York, Toronto: Rich and Cowan, . Octavo, boards. First edition. First binding of blue boards with spine panel stamped in silver. The author's second book, first collection of short fiction, and first hardcover book. "Phil's first hardcover, a selection of early stories [written 1952-1954] published by Rich & Cowan in London. At the time Phil considered his fantasy stories to be his best, but R & C held that fantasies were for children. Only two made it: 'The Cookie Lady,' a variation on the Hansel and Gretel theme, and the haunting 'Upon the Dull Earth,' Phil's take on the Orpheus legend, with lover seeking to rescue his Eurydice from life-thirsting angels." - Sutin, Divine Invasions, p. 292. Some offset to front free endpaper, else a fine copy in nearly fine first state (no listing of WORLD OF CHANCE on rear panel), first issue ("10s. 6d. / net" at base of front flap not overprinted with new price) dust jacket with touch of rubbing to corners and lower spine end and small closed tear at upper spine end. (#111896).
"First Published -- 1955" on copyright page.