DOYLE'S ROCK AND OTHER STORIES. Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1925. Octavo, pp. [1-4] 5-7 [8] 9-288, original medium blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in orange, bottom edge untrimmed. First edition. "The author's first collection of short stories, many of which examine the theme of crossed signals between male and female characters. One of these (the longest story), 'She'll Never Marry,' pursues the theme into the territory of lesbianism, a notably early example, preceding THE WELL OF LONELINESS by three years, and unusual also for its presentation of Una and Evelyn as a happy, satisfied couple who pull the wool over the eyes of clueless males. Of the other thirteen stories, five have supernatural content. 'The Farm' follows a young boy into an isolated farm house where an old blind woman can sense much about his visual appearance. She envies his vitality and, as he is leaving, begs him for his *anima vitae.* He fails to understand this veiled reference but his girlfriend explains that she may have been asking him to breathe into her some of his vitality (thus losing it himself, making the old woman a kind of vampire?) 'The Buckross Ring' is an excellent supernatural tale with an ecclesiastical setting. 'Tea at Maggie Reynold's' presents another cryptical old woman presenting veiled truths to a confused young man. His surname, she explains, marks him as a descendant of a man who had tricked a mermaid into marriage. After listening to this folk tale, he walks away and begins thinking of all the violent water-related deaths of his relatives. 'The Place of Meeting' presents in play form the reconciliation in an afterlife of an ascetic monk and unrepentant heathen. 'Mr. Tookey' explores faith-healing, and throws in a ghost for good measure. All in all, a not inconsiderable collection. " - Robert Eldridge. Bleiler (1978), p. 188. NCBEL IV 744. Spine just a bit darkened, endpapers just a bit darkened, a near fine copy in very good pictorial dust jacket with shallow chipping at upper spine end and upper edge of rear panel, shelf wear at edges, several creases to front panel, and several internal tape mends. (#149811).

Price: $650.00

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