THE COLLECTED GHOST STORIES OF OLIVER ONIONS. London: Ivor Nicholson and Watson Limited, 1935. Octavo, pp. [i-vi] vii [viii] ix-xi [xii] [1-2] 3-689 [690-692: blank] [note: last leaf is a blank], original decorated black cloth, front and spine panels stamped in white. First edition, first printing. An omnibus volume collecting nineteen stories, several appearing here for the first time in book form, by a master of the English ghost story. Onions is best known for his supernatural fiction and "is regarded by many as one of the twentieth century masters of the genre ... [his ghost stories] are notable for their depth of psychological insight, elegant writing and sophisticated plots ... 'The Beckoning Fair One' (1911) is regarded by many as one of the greatest English tales of the supernatural but has overshadowed Onions' other work in the genre which some consider of equal, if not greater, importance. In fact, the majority of the author's supernatural fiction is of an extremely high standard and is notable for its originality, subtlety and careful characterizations which lift it well above the average ... Although Onions' ghost fiction is traditional in form, he concentrates more fully than his contemporaries upon his characters' inner feelings and physical reaction when faced with the seemingly inexplicable. A common theme is the gradual breakdown of an individual's personality following the realization that the supernatural is not confined to the haunted castles of the past but flourishes in the contemporary everyday world. Interestingly, Onions was a great pragmatist and did not believe in ghosts or occult agencies of any sort. It is therefore testament to his writing skills that he so convincingly conveys supernatural atmosphere and events." - Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. 398. Ashley, Who's Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction, p. 141. Barron (ed), Horror Literature 3-155. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 1264. Clute and Grant (eds), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997), p. 709. Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, pp. 309-10. Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature I, pp. 294-99. Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 3-187. Bleiler (1978), p. 151. Reginald 11002. Some foxing to top edge of pages, offsetting on front and rear free endpapers, light damp stains to first few pages and some scattered stains along top edge throughout, a very good copy in very good pictorial dust jacket with light rubbing along edges, some age-darkening, largely spine panel, on the verso with white paper tape reinforcements on verso along the spine and flap folds, and clipped price. The jacket, seldom seen in any condition, presents well overall. (#139157).
"First published in 1935" on copyright page.