UNCLE JACK, ETC. London: Chatto and Windus, 1885. Octavo, pp. [1-6]  2-339 [340: blank] + 32-page publisher's catalogue dated "October, 1884" inserted at rear [note: collation agrees with Wolff, but half title leaf is conjugate with title leaf, not an insert], original decorated gray cloth, front panel stamped in red and black, spine panel stamped in red, black and gold, floral patterned endpapers, all edges untrimmed. First edition. Collection of five novellas and short novels. In a note at the beginning of "Sir Jocelyn's Cap" the author writes, "It is due to Mr. Charles Brookfield to state that the idea of this story is entirely his. He suggested it one day at the Saville Club to Mr. Walter Pollock and myself, and we amused ourselves for an hour or two in devising sundry situations which might result from the zeal of a demon grown incapable by age and infirmity of fully carrying out his master's wishes." It is described as an "Anstey-esque fantasy novella" by Brian Stableford (Clute and Nicholls [eds],The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction , p. 112). "In Luck at Last" is a bibliomystery of some sort, with the following droll beginning: "If everyone were to choose and select for himself the most pleasant method of performing this earthly pilgrimage, there would be, I have always thought, an immediate run upon that way of getting to the Delectable Mountains which is known as the Craft and Mystery of Second-hand Bookselling." All but "Sir Jocelyn's Cap" had appeared earlier in Christmas Annuals. "... Besant was ranked by contemporaries with the best English novelists. In 1893, when he and William Black and Thomas Hardy wrote a joint letter defending American publishers against the charges of piracy before the passage of the new international copyright law, Kipling protested in a ballad calling them 'the three great captains'" (Wolff, vol. I, p. 75). Hubin (1994), p. 69. Wolff 463. Sadleir 206. Slight spine lean, cloth rubbed at spine ends and corner tips, a very good copy. A scarce book. (#113416).
No statement of printing.