THE SABERTOOTH: A ROMANCE OF PUT-IN-BAY. Stephen Kinder.

THE SABERTOOTH: A ROMANCE OF PUT-IN-BAY. Chicago: Laird & Lee, Publishers, [1902]. Octavo, pp. [1-6] 7-270 [271-272: ads], two inserted plates, other illustrations in the text, original chromolithographed pictorial wrappers. First edition. "An amiable, if unspectacular, piece of fiction: part dime novel adventure about smugglers, part romantic melodrama, part fantasy, part detective story, part regionalistic sight-seeing tour. The fantasy element posits the survival in the upper Midwest of a caveman from the last ice age. The strange old man, known to the inhabitants of the resort island as Old Stone for his implacable and ancient demeanor, has been there, living in a hidden network of caverns, since before the first white settler arrived. He is said to be addicted to strong liquors and opium. He falls into trances every now and then. With his skin, hair and rags all blending together, his ancient, faded appearance causes the narrator of the novel to compare him to a fossil -- which is quite literally what he turns out to be. He is also a kind of Wandering Jew figure, punished for an ancient act of cannibalism (of his own children) and apparently destined to continue wandering, as he survives the story's cataclysmic finale. The ingredients are present for a more engaging story than the one Kinder delivers; the author pulls his punches again and again, producing a typical example of the genteel fiction of the day. The illustrator likewise ignores the more extravagant possibilities of the story. Still, a rare book, representative of literary fashions of the day, and intriguing for what it might have been." - Robert Eldridge. Angenot and Khouri, "An International Bibliography of Prehistoric Fiction," SFS, VIII (March 1981), 44. Bleiler (1978), p. 114. Reginald 08235. Smith, American Fiction, 1901-1925 K-188. Not in Hubin. The cloth issue of this book has four inserted plates, but the paperbound copies has only two plates. One is loose and chipped along gutter edge; pulpy text block browned but not especially brittle, covers (including spine panel) chipped at edges but without serious intrusion into printed areas (worst area is bottom edge of rear cover), a good copy of a scarce and fragile book. Colorful cover; presents well. (#153364).

Price: $350.00

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