THE BECKONING HAND AND OTHER STORIES. London: Chatto and Windus, 1887. Octavo, pp. [i-v] vi [vii-viii]  2-341 [342: blank] [343: publisher's device] [344: blank] + 32-page publisher's catalogue dated "September, 1886" inserted at rear, inserted frontispiece with illustration by Townley Green, original pictorial blue cloth, front panel stamped in white, spine panel in gold, rear panel publisher's monogram stamped in blind on rear panel, top and fore-edge untrimmed, brown coated endpapers. First edition. Collection of thirteen stories, reprinted from various magazines and newspapers. The author closes his brief preface thus: "If anybody reads them and likes them, let me take this opportunity (as an unprejudiced person) of recommending to him my other volume of 'Strange Stories,' which I consider every bit as gruesome as this one." That volume, published in 1884, was the first of four collections Allen published over the next fifteen years, solidifying a reputation as, among other things, an author of weird, criminous, controversial and sensational tales. A fifth volume (TWELVE TALES, (1899) represented his own selection from them. The present collection was his second and is nearly as scarce as the first (STRANGE STORIES). The title story calls on his experience in Jamaica to help create a strong tale of voodoo. "The Third Time" is a dark story about alcoholism. "The Gold Wulfric" is a numismatic mystery. "The Two Carnegies" explores in a tragic mode the uncanny connection between identical twins. "Olga Davidoff's Husband" is set in Siberia and Kent and mixes violence and love. "John Cann's Treasure" concerns a treasure hunt based on a 17th-century manuscript written in cipher; things end badly. "The Search Party's Find" is a criminious horror tale set in the Arctic. Ashley, Who's Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction, p. 19. Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. Hubin (1994), p. 11. Wolff, who had a nearly complete collection of Allen's fiction, had neither this title nor a first edition of STRANGE STORIES. Slight spine lean, cloth rubbed at spine ends, corner tips and along outer joints, a couple of small rubs and spots to cloth, a very good copy. (#147992).
No statement of printing.