TALES OF A TRAVELLER. By Geoffrey Crayon, Gent. [pseudonym] ... In Two Volumes. London: John Murray, Albemarle-Street, 1824. Octavo, two volumes: pp. [i-v] vi-xiv [xv] xvi [1-3] 4-364; [i-v] vi [1-3] 4-394 [395: "notice" (about pirated editions of Irving's works)] [396: printer's imprint], nineteenth-century full calf, all panels stamped in gold, all edges marbled, marbled endpapers. First edition. An important edition of the major repository of Irving's supernatural stories, ten in all, including "The Adventure of the German Student," which Bleiler proclaims "one of the early masterpieces of horror" and "The Devil and Tom Walker," which, as "one of Irving's best weird tales, takes its rightful place among devil stories popular in the nineteenth century" (Benjamin Franklin Fisher IV, Bleiler [ed], Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror, p. 689). "Irving was America's first major literary celebrity and enjoyed a long, successful career free from the kind of tragedy that tormented contemporaries such as Hawthorne and Poe, though it eventually added a romantic glow to their reputations -- everyone loves a tormented genius. Irving, as a master of both comic and tragic material, has suffered in posterity from the difficulty readers have in reconciling the two. Like so many other writers who have appreciated how humor and horror serve as foils for each other (consider Dickens, Twain, W. W. Jacobs, Barry Pain among others) his dark side tends to be minimized in the pubic eye. This collection shows both sides, and also shows Irving at work misdirecting readers in order to shield himself from the charge so commonly directed at fiction in this period, that it was frivolous nonsense, or worse." - Robert Eldridge. "Irving's supernatural fiction is still fresh -- amusing or horrible as the case may be -- and much worth reading." - E. F. Bleiler, Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, pp. 224-5. This British edition includes five pieces (one of which is "The Adventure of the German Student") which are not in the first U.S. edition, published in Philadelphia by Carey and Lea in 1824 in four paper-covered parts. A revised and extended two-volume U.S. edition, including the five pieces omitted from the first U.S. edition, was published in New York by C. S. Van Winkle in 1825. "TALES OF A TRAVELLER (1824), much neglected and often maligned by critics, contains some of Irving's best art in the supernatural mode." - Fisher, Supernatural, p. 688. Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature 2-92. Barron (ed), Horror Literature 1-47 (in reference to "The German Student" as a tale of terror). Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 885. Survey of Modern Fantastic Literature IV, pp. 1557-9. Tymn, Horror Literature, 1-182 (in reference to "The German Student" as a Gothic). Bleiler (1978), p. 107. Not in Reginald (1979; 1992). Langfeld and Blackburn, pp. 25-6. BAL 10115 (noted state B, priority not established). See Wright (I) 1449 and 1450. Calf rubbed at edges, some of the gold stamping on spine panels perished, half titles missing, a very good copy. (#137518).
No statement of printing.