BASIL: A STORY OF MODERN LIFE. Wilkie Collins, William.
BASIL: A STORY OF MODERN LIFE ...

BASIL: A STORY OF MODERN LIFE. New York: D. Appleton & Company, 200 Broadway, 1853. 12mo, pp. [i-v] vi-xii [9] 10-317 [318: blank] [319-332: ads], flyleaves at front and rear, original black cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold and blind, fore and bottom edges rough trimmed, cream endpapers. First U.S. edition. Collins' second full-length novel and his first to be set in contemporary times. "With BASIL ..., his first characteristic novel, Collins began his search for a cosmic viewpoint that would encompass fate and chance, and the workings of human character with respect to both. He did not fulfill his objective until sixteen years later in THE MOONSTONE, but even in BASIL there is an oppressive feeling of foreordained events forever threatening, a feeling in which the weather is made to play a part. Although much of BASIL is weak, the symbolic thunderstorm during which Basil confronts Mannion and the visions seen by Basil in delirium have been praised. The text of BASIL usually read by modern readers is that of the 1862 revision, in which Collins dropped much of the quasi-supernatural background. This editing may simply have been an attempt to restore balance to the story by removing padding, but it is more likely to have been an early instance of Collins' uncertainty (evidenced again in the appendix to ARMADALE) of how far to go in attributing to Providence a series of coincidences otherwise inexplicable." - Bleiler (ed), Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror, p. 234. Bleiler (1978), p. 47 Not in Reginald (1979; 1992). Hubin (1994), p. 180. Previous owner's name penciled on several pages. Very small chip from lower spine end at front joint, lower front corner tip worn, a near fine copy with tight, clean interior and clean binding with bight gold stamping on spine panel. (#130251).

Price: $1,000.00

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