MARJORIE DAW AND OTHER PEOPLE. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company Late Ticknor & Fields and Fields, Osgood, & Co., 1873. 12mo, pp. [1-7] 8-272, flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated terra cotta cloth, front panel stamped in gold and blind, spine panel stamped in gold, rear panel stamped in blind, brown coated endpapers. First edition. Collects nine stories including several fantastic tales and "surprise" stories, probably the best being "Marjorie Daw" and "A Struggle for Life." "In April, 1873, the appearance of 'Marjorie Daw' in the ATLANTIC marked an important moment in the American short story. The art with which the portrait of this girl is built up by the letter of one young man to another, until she seems to him and to the reader to live and breathe, only to find that she exists in the imagination of Delaney, is a triumph for the realistic treatment of romantic material. Marjorie Daw, who never existed, even in the story, is more real than almost any other heroine of her time, Delicately Aldrich shows how this girl, created by Delaney to amuse his bedridden friend in New York, can be more actual than a real person. This note of surprise is kept up in the stories of the 'seventies, like 'Miss Mehetabel's Son' or 'Madame Olympe Zambriski' [both stories collected here] ... Like all artists of importance, Aldrich declines to be neatly classified. While he was developing the short story of fantasy, of which 'Marjorie Daw' is a shinning example, he wrote in THE STORY OF A BAD BOY (1869), a realistic picture of life in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where he had been sent to school under his grandfather's care while his parents remained in New Orleans." - Quinn, American Fiction, p. 216. Aldrich "influenced the American short story profoundly when he perfected its surprise ending, and few volumes of short stories have had greater significance than his MARJORIE DAW." - Fullerton, p. 9. Bleiler (1948), p. 19. BAL 276. Wright (III) 36. Tiny Blairhame leather bookplate affixed to the front paste-down. Cloth rubbed at spine ends and corner tips,spine panel just a darkened, a bright, very good copy. A superior copy of a high spot of American short story collections. (#158683).
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