THE JUGGLER AND THE SOUL. Ellen Buckingham Mathews, "Helen Mathers.", Mrs. Henry Albert Reeves.

THE JUGGLER AND THE SOUL. London: Skeffington & Son, 1896. Octavo, pp. [1-8] [1-2] 3-219 [220] [note: first leaf is a blank], title page printed in red and black, original decorated blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in red and white, floral patterned endpapers. First edition. A novel mixing the macabre and fantastic in an exploration of the relations between body and soul, life and death; it belongs certainly to the "mad scientist" sub-genre. A scientist has mastered the ability of bringing the dead back to life with blood transfusions. In his laboratory he is assisted by "a gigantic deaf and dumb Negro" and by two trainees, Arthur and Jasper (respectively sympathetic and sinister) who vie for the favor of the fifth player in the story, a lovely young woman, Ninga, daughter of an old friend of the scientist who can no longer take care of her and has sent her to live with the scientist. Ninga chooses Arthur, which arouses the maddened jealousy of Jasper, who murders Arthur, trying to make the opening of his artery look like suicide. But the Negro happens onto the scene and, after chloroforming Jasper, transfuses his blood into the body of the dead Arthur, killing Jasper in the process -- but also transferring his nasty personality into the body of Arthur. In Mathers' THE SIN OF HAGAR, published the same year, the author showed an interest in a similar situation: a wicked old man making occult experiments on an innocent young woman. Bleiler (1978), p. 135. Reginald 09800. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 153. A bright, very good copy of an uncommon book. (#147938).

Price: $650.00

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