ZANONI. By the Author of "Night and Morning," "Rienzi," etc. London: Saunders & Otley, Conduit Street, 1842. Octavo, three volumes: [i-iii] iv-xxii [xxiii-xxiv]  2-307 [308: blank]; [i-iv]  2-301 [302: blank]; [i-iv]  2-321 [322: blank], with half-titles in volumes two and three and errata slips preceding B1 in each volume, nineteenth-century three-quarter leather and marbled boards, black leather title pieces. First edition. "As a Rosicrucian novel drenched in the cabalistic lore of secret societies, ZANONI has very interesting connections with such Gothic works as Karl Grosse's HORRID MYSTERIES (1796) and Godwin's SAINT LEON (1799) ... Grand in conception and saturated at the same time with Gothic melodrama, ZANONI remains a novel of spectacle whose artistic category is peculiarly its own." - Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 2-20. "In 1835, while researching books on astrology and not long before his separation from his wife, Bulwer-Lytton had a dream in which the fabric of a novel came to him. He produced an incomplete version as 'Zicci' (1838 MONTHLY CHRONICLE; in CRITICAL AND MISCELLANEOUS WRITINGS 1841) and then reworked it substantially as ZANONI (1842). Bearing some semblance to Charles Maturin's MELMOTH THE WANDERER (1820), this was intended to be an allegory on the human condition, but is too philosophical to work effectively at that level; as a story, however, the tale of an immortal adept and his sacrifice for love became one of the classic works of Victorian supernaturalism. In ZANONI Bulwer-Lytton created the image of the 'dweller on the threshold,' a phrase beloved by writers of weird fiction ever since ... Bulwer-Lytton's work was sensationally popular in his day and had a strong influence on other writers. His occult works, along with those of J. Sheridan Le Fanu, form the basis of modern supernatural fiction." - Clute and Grant (eds), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997), p. 149. In 333. Barron (ed), Horror Literature 2-56. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 304. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 145 (citing the UK edition). Lovecraft, Supernatural Horror in Literature, pp. 41-2. Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, p. 63. Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. 119. Bleiler (1978), p. 34. Reginald 09385. Sadleir 451. Wolff 964. Lacks the publisher's ads at rear of volumes 2 and 3. Early owner's signatures at upper edge of each title page. Mild wear to edges, some light foxing, mainly early and late, a very good copy overall. (#147942).
No statement of printing.