THE WEB OF THE PAST. By The Countess of Cromartie ... Colonial Edition. London: T. Fisher Unwin, 1905. Octavo, pp. [1-11] 12-304 + 16-page undated publisher's catalogue inserted at rear, original red cloth, front panel stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, all edges trimmed. Colonial edition. "Celtic historical fantasies, for the most part, romantic in mood and rather muted in effect. 'The Finding of the Sword,' however, is set in the present and concerns a hostile intrusion of the past into the present, following the archaeological discovery of an old Celtic sword (no doubt viewed by the spirits as a hostile intrusion of the present into the past). The story develops into an effective, if traditional, weird tale with antiquarian atmosphere and horrific highlights. Immediately after the unearthing of the sword, a darkly glamorous figure appears in the Irish village and insinuates himself into the household of the sword's owner. Oscar Innis seems to be either a reincarnation or a revivification of the old Celtic king who was the sword's original owner. Indisputably he exudes a magnetic power that bends others to his will. One scene portrays a vampiric transfer of vitality to him from the hapless narrator, a contender for the affections of the tomboyish lass who is apparently a reincarnation of the king's slave, who had refused to follow him into his grave; this time around, she pays for that disobedience." - Robert Eldridge. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 61. Not in Bleiler (1948; 1978) or Reginald (1979; 1992). A couple of mild spots and a scratch on rear cover, preliminaries tanned, a very good copy with bright cover stamping. This book is scarce in any edition, both in the trade and in libraries (just two holdings for this recorded in COPAC (British Library and National Library of Scotland); OCLC reports no additional copies. (#148129).
"Colonial Edition" on title page.