A PASSING MADNESS. later Mrs. T. Ross Church, afterwards Mrs. Francis Lean.

A PASSING MADNESS. Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1897. Small octavo, pp. [1-5] 6-279 [280: printer's imprint], original dark green cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panel stamped in gold, all edges marbled, salmon endpapers. First continental edition. A sensation novel published earlier in 1897 in London by Hutchinson & Co. A strong-willed, weak-minded young woman accidentally poisons and kills her sick brother. The dead man's physician is blamed for his death, but all ends well when Joan finally admits what she has done after her vigil at the side of her dead brother during which her dead father's ghost appears and speaks a single word: "Confess." This is not a really a supernatural novel: Joan has "a passing madness;" and the story has no similarities whatsoever with THE BLOOD OF THE VAMPIRE. Marryat, daughter of the famous mid-Victorian nautical author Frederick Marryat, was one of Tauchnitz's most popular late-Victorian writers, concentrating on domestic dramas but veering into the occult and supernatural at times. She was also an enthusiastic spiritualist and wrote nonfiction works extolling those views. Todd & Bowden 3219a. Hubin (1994), p. 552. A couple of mild spots to cloth, a very good or better copy. The Tauchnitz edition is scarce, the Hutchinson edition is rare. (#156572).

Price: $100.00

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