BASIL NETHERBY. London: Hutchinson & Co. Publishers) Ltd., n.d. . Octavo, pp. [1-8] 9-211 [212: blank] + 20-page publisher's catalogue "for the Autumn, 1926" at rear, original burgundy cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black. First edition. Two previously unpublished novellas discovered by E. F. Benson among his late brother’s papers, both of which deal with the lingering influence of a dead student of the black arts. In “Basil Netherby,” the titular character is a musician whose personality has undergone a significant change since he has taken up residence at Treheale, an isolated rural estate. Netherby’s previously unremarkable compositions have become complex, unbridled celebrations of all that is sensual and passionate in life, and his friend from college, Leonard Ward, fears that Netherby has been possessed by the restless spirit of the former owner of the manor. Narrated by John Hartley, a journalist, “The Uttermost Farthing” recounts Hartley’s adventures with Hector Bendyshe at Hebden Hill, a large Sussex estate, whose former owner, Hugh Faulkner, was believed to have used black magic to kill members of the local village who held him in contempt because of his checkered past. Hartley and Bendyshe investigate various paranormal occurrences at Hebden Hill, which culminate in a confrontation with Faulkner’s ghost over a hidden journal detailing Faulkner’s experiments in the occult. Both novellas are beautifully written and contain excellent period detail about architecture and landscapes, but each novella, particularly “The Uttermost Farthing,” is marred by a somewhat saccharine ending of love and redemption that does not logically follow from the genuine scenes of terror, some quite well done, that precede it. Bleiler (1978), p. 20. Reginald 01117. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 136. Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 3-9. Publisher's review slip giving a publication date of 7 January 1927 laid in. Early owner's name and 1927 date on the front free endpaper. Free-endpapers, a few preliminary leaves, and page edges foxed, top edge a bit dusty, a very good copy in pictorial dust jacket (priced six shillings on the spine panel and listing "Hutchinson's New Novels / 1926" on the rear panel) with light wear and a few shallow tears at edges. An uncommon book rarely found in jacket. An excellent example of the jacket. (#157562).
No statement of printing. The second printing is marked "SECOND EDITION" on the title page.