THE MARK O' THE DEIL AND OTHER NORTHUMBRIA TALES. Howard Pease.

THE MARK O' THE DEIL AND OTHER NORTHUMBRIA TALES. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1894. Octavo, pp. [1-6] 7-10 [11-12] 13 [14-16] 17-166 [167: printer's imprint] [168: blank], original decorated green cloth, front panel stamped in gray and gold, spine panel stamped in gold, all edges untrimmed, floral patterned endpapers. First edition. A presentation copy with unsigned inscription by Pease to G. Nesham, Esq. "with the author's compliments" on the front free endpaper. Mixed collection of Northumbrian tales, some supernatural, some criminous. The title story ("deil" is a dialectical shortening of "devil") recounts the tragic conclusion of a romantic triangle in which the sore loser, after ruining the chances of happiness for the couple, is cursed by the woman; he is later found raving on the hillside with a curious reddish mark on his breast of the kind used to mark sheep; he is convinced he has been taken into the devil's flock. Another romantic triangle is treated with a lighter tone in "The Two Marrows," in which the two bosom buddies of the title fight over a girl, but the loser accepts the outcome with good grace. When the winner dies soon afterwards, however, he lays an injunction on his friend to leave his widow alone -- or else he will haunt him like a dog. Nature takes its usual course and an uncanny dog appears in the new couple's home. An appeal is made to the local Catholic priest, who lays the ghost (or whatever it was) in return for a promise that the husband will become a regular churchgoer. Pease had not yet hit the stride that he shows in his 1919 collection, BORDER GHOST STORIES (1919). Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. 407. Bleiler (1978), p. 155. Reginald 11265. Hubin (1994), p. 633. Not in Wolff. Recto of first leaf and verso of last leaf tanned (through interaction with endpapers), rear endpaper with (stabilized) hairline crack along inner hinge, else a bright, near fine copy. (#118850).

Price: $150.00

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