COUNTRY TALES: COLLECTED SHORT STORIES. London: Jonathan Cape, [1940]. Octavo, pp. [1-4] 5 [6] 7-10 [11-12] 13-405 [406: blank], original blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black. First trade edition. A selection of thirty stories -- about a quarter of his output -- from the five volumes of stories published up until then. With an interesting preface by the author about his evolution as a writer and the state of the short story form in mid-century England. The author's stories appeared frequently in Edward J. O'Brien's annual anthology series, BEST BRITISH SHORT STORIES. The prolific Bates was primarily a writer of short stories and in this field he was highly regarded by David Garnett and Graham Greene, among others. His style has been traced to the influence of Conrad (and thus of Henry James) and Stephen Crane, but his subject matter is definitely British, concentrating on the lives and tragedies of rural workers, occasionally touching on the theme of madness. See Kunitz and Haycraft, Twentieth Century Authors, pp. 85-6. NCBEL IV 520. Two tiny spots to front cover, else a fine copy. (#128152).

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"FIRST PUBLISHED 1940" on copyright page.