DOWN DARTMOOR WAY. London: Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., 1896. Octavo, pp. [1-8] [1-3] 4-282 [283-284: blank] [285-288: ads], original decorated lilac cloth, front and spine panels stamped in brown and gold, top and bottom edges rough trimmed, fore-edge untrimmed. First edition. Collects ten stories set in Dartmoor, all showing the influence of the pungent and generally grim realism of Hardy, relieved by glints of black humor. The dialogue reproduces the local dialect. In "The Tower of the Wild Hunter" a character reflects, "The upshot was 'e ded'n die -- leastways awnly the brains of un. Will lost 'is reason, an' 'is brains grawed all shrivelled up in's 'ead like a Vrench nut in's shell." As could be expected from the setting, many of the stories have nautical themes, including the story of a fisherman's fight with a huge conger eel ("Behind the 'Devil's Teeth'"), in which the eel gets the last laugh, fulfilling a local witch's curse on the fisherman. A gypsy curse also figures in "A Curse Half Spoke." Carefully crafted stories, and one of the author's scarcer collections. Hinton, p. 13 (estimating the print run to be 1000 copies). Not in Wilson. Armorial bookplate affixed to front paste-down. A touch of darkening to spine panel, mild rubbing to spine ends and corner tips, a bright very good copy. (#148174).
No statement of printing.