WHAT DREAMS MAY COME: A ROMANCE by Frank Lin [pseudonym]. Gertrude Atherton, "Frank Lin."

WHAT DREAMS MAY COME: A ROMANCE by Frank Lin [pseudonym]. Chicago, New York, and San Francisco: Belford, Clarke and Co. Publishers, [1888]. Octavo, pp. [1-7] 8-192, flyleaves at front and rear, original dark blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in gold, t.e.g., fore-edge untrimmed, white endpapers with floral pattern printed in yellow-green. First edition. The author's first book, published in paper wrappers and in cloth, as here. A story of metempsychosis written in San Francisco but laid in Paris and Wales. "It was a wild yarn, and written off at white heat" says the author, "and every publisher in the United States rejected it as too shocking." Four years later Mrs. Atherton went to New York with the manuscript in her trunk and made the rounds of the publishers in person. Henry Holt, terming it "too wildly improbable," doubted any American publisher would risk it. Henry Harper wished that the House of Harper would permit him to publish it, which they emphatically wouldn't, but suggested Belford, Clarke & Co., a new firm, unhampered by tradition. The latter accepted the manuscript with enthusiasm, "although an old Welshman, reader for the firm, wrote out eight pages of criticism." The title was suggested by the brother of a friend and the pseudonym was in honor of her collateral ancestor, Benjamin Franklin. Her grandfather wrote "What a name to choose! It sounds Chinese." As for the reception of the book, the author writes "I know now it was not worth the paper it was printed on. Its only merit was that it betrayed a certain originality in conception. It should have been dismissed with a paragraph, if noticed at all. But it was greeted with columns of ridicule and even abuse" (Adventures of a Novelist, 1932, pp. 137-144). Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 140. Not in Bleiler (1948; 1978), Day (1963) or Reginald (1979; 1992). Wright (III) 163. Cloth rubbed at spine ends, corner tips and along outer joints, cloth a bit sunned, some leaves roughly opened with shallow loss from several fore-edge margins, a very good copy. (#156311).

Price: $250.00

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