ALL ALONG THE RIVER: A NOVEL by the Author of "Ishmael," "Vixen," "Lady Audley's Secret," Etc., Etc. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co. Limited, 1893. Octavo, three volumes: [i-iv]  2-316; [i-iii] iv  2-296; [i-iv]  2-310 [311-312: blank] [note: last leaf is a blank], half title leaves not called for, original dark green cloth, spine panels stamped in gold and blind, front and rear panels ruled in blind, yellow coated endpapers in volume III, plain endpapers in volumes I and II, all edges untrimmed. First edition. The title novel takes up the first two volumes of this book; the third contains eight short stories (omitted in later editions), three or four of them supernatural, depending on one's definitions: "His Oldest Friends," "The Island of Old Faces," "My Dream" and (possibly) "The Ghost's Name." Wilson excludes the last as a rationalized ghost story, while Richard Dalby includes it in his collection of Braddon's ghost stories for THE COLD EMBRACE (Ash-Tree Press, 2000), acknowledging it as borderline but noting its "well-tuned frisson of strange horror." All four stories first appeared in THE MISLETOE [sic] BOUGH, a Christmas annual that ran from 1878 to 1892, edited by Braddon for the first ten issues. "His Oldest Friends" was chosen by Braddon for a GRAND MAGAZINE issue in 1905 that solicited from authors what they considered their best story. A fifth story, "Stapylton's Plot," could almost be considered a story of prevision or predestination. A dilettante author comes up with a grandiose ambition for a novel based on a plot (man rescues woman from drowning herself, shelters her, becomes involved) that in fact, had even then been around the block more than a few times. He talks about his novel endlessly (insisting it must end tragically) but never writes a word. Years later, this very plot unfolds itself in reality. He catches a woman on Waterloo Bridge just before she jumps, persuades her to come back to his top-floor flat, puts her up in his bedroom while he retires to his living room couch, imagining fondly that he will bring about her reformation and redemption (and gain a wife in the bargain). He is awoken later by a noise a few hours later: she has jumped out the bedroom window and killed herself. This puts an end also to his talk about his novel. Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. 102. Not in Bleiler (1948; 1978), Day (1963), or Reginald (1979; 1993). Hubin (1994), p. 93. NCBEL III 1040. Sadleir 267. Wolff 623. Minor touchup to several spine ends and corner tips, inner hinges of volume one professionally mended. A lovely copy of a very elusive book. Enclosed in a custom cloth clamshell box with leather spine label. (#161614).
No statement of printing.