THE QUEEN OF HEARTS. London: Hurst & Blackett, Publishers, Successors to Henry Colburn, 13, Great Marlborough Street, 1859. Octavo, three volumes: pp. [1-2] [i] ii-iii [iv]  2-314; [1-2]  2-359 [360: blank]; [1-2]  2-307 [308: blank], original decorated gray green cloth, front and rear panels stamped in blind, spine panels stamped in gold and blind, top edges untrimmed, light yellow coated endpapers. First edition. Collects the title story and "The Ten Days," a group of stories with narrative bridge. "The ten linked stories in THE QUEEN OF HEARTS (1859) show Collins at the height of his powers. Three of the pieces are macabre ['Brother Griffith's Story of Mad Monkton,' 'Brother Morgan's Story of the Dead Hand' and 'Brother Morgan's Story of the Dream Woman'], and two of the three are supernatural." - Bleiler (ed), Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror, pp. 235-6. These three stories "reveal Collins's technique of grounding his horrors in fact, and domesticating the old ghost-in-a-bedsheet into realistic characters, and the supernatural, or apparently supernatural, elements into everyday phenomena." - Tymn (ed), Horror Literature 2-25. Additionally, the collection includes the classic detective story, "The Biter Bit." Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 408. Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. 141. See Barron (ed), Horror Literature 2-14. Queen's Quorum 3. Queen, The Detective Short Story, p. 27. Sadleir 603. Wolff 1373. Engraved bookplate of John Martineau in each volume. Binder's ticket "Leighton, Son & Hodge" affixed to rear paste-down of volume 1. Bindings leaned, spines a bit tanned, rear endpaper of volume 3 replaced and spine ends strengthened long ago, tiny chip from cloth along rear joint of volume 3, a few gatherings a bit proud but holding tight, tiny chip from upper margin of leaf P6 in volume 2, some foxing early and late in volume 3, some foxing and staining to pages 97-102 of volume 3, overall a sound, good copy. A notorious rarity in the original cloth. (#162200).
No statement of printing.