THE BECKSIDE BOGGLE AND OTHER LAKE COUNTRY STORIES. Alice Rea.

THE BECKSIDE BOGGLE AND OTHER LAKE COUNTRY STORIES. London: T Fisher Unwin, 1886. Octavo, pp. [1-8] [1] 2-308, frontispiece (photographic illustration depicting ''The Scene of Desolation''), original red cloth, front and rear panels stamped in black, spine panel stamped in black and gold, yellow coated endpapers. First edition. Short domestic novel, "Holly and Mistletoe," and three short stories, two with supernatural content. In the collection's last story, "How Our Fathers Went A-Burying," the supernatural feels tacked on to the last page without any proper buildup. In the old days, the narrator explains, coffins with the recently deceased were placed on horses and led to the burying ground. A twenty-year-old is bundled onto a colt who bolts and is not found. Then a few months later his mother dies and the old gray mare with her coffin bolts in the same place. In looking for the mother, they finally find the colt and coffin with the son and give him proper burial. But the mother's gray mare was never found and they say that afterwards on stormy nights a huge gray mare could be seen galloping over the moor with its "strange and uncanny burden." In the collection's title story, the supernatural is more developed. An old woman who suspects that a strange new lodger intends to murder and rob her kills him first in his sleep by pouring hot sheep fat down his throat, the fat overflowing onto his face to form an uncanny mask. That room is haunted afterwards. The third story, "Lost on the Moor," is about an old woman who gets lost on the moor in a snowstorm and dies. The plots of the stories have some strength and the local color is well-handled but the writing has a tepid, sentimental feel. The British Library notes only one other work by her, an 1895 novel, DALEFOLK, which is described by Wolff (#5697) as a bleak study of the same countryside involving madness and a curse. (Reading note by Robert Eldridge). Not in Bleiler (1948; 1978) or Reginald (1979; 1992). Binding slightly leaned, spine panel a bit sunned, a clean, tight, good copy. (#115479).

Price: $250.00

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