A LIVING SKELETON: A NOVEL. W. J. Fraser.

A LIVING SKELETON: A NOVEL. London, New York, Chicago: F. Tennyson Neely, Publisher, [1899]. Octavo, pp. [1-5] 6-247 [248-256: ads], original decorated white wrappers printed in red and green. First edition. Issued simultaneously in cloth for $1.00 and in paper for 25 cents as "Neely's Imperial Library," number 43, this being one of the latter. "Romantic melodrama with criminous elements. Gerald Lemont and Claude Duval are half-brothers who work at the First National Bank. Gerald is married to Marie Shaw whose half-sister Katie Keel is deeply in love with Claude. Claude, however, loves Marie and is determined to lure her away from Gerald. Guy Carroll, another bank employee, loves Katie and is convinced that Claude, despite his charm, is an utter scoundrel. Guy's suspicions prove true when Claude and an accomplice, Charles Vernon, rob the First National Bank. When Guy stumbles upon the robbery in progress, Vernon nearly kills him, fracturing Guy's skull with a wooden club that leaves a splinter lodged in his brain. As Guy recovers from his injuries, he is threatened and coerced into not turning Claude and Charles over to the authorities, but he eventually confides his secret to Katie who agrees to marry him in order to ensure that Claude's guilt is never revealed. When Gerald is falsely accused and imprisoned for the bank robbery, Guy mysteriously disappears, and after several years pass, Claude is finally able to convince Marie to marry him, convincing her that Gerald is now dead. Eventually, Gerald returns to confront Claude and see justice done with Guy's help. The 'living skeleton' of the novel's title is Katie, who steadily wastes away, consumed by her unrequited love for Claude and her guilt over not revealing Claude's treacherous nature to her half-sister. Undistinguished commercial fiction of the period." - Boyd White. Spine panel chipped at lower edge with loss of publisher's imprint, front wrapper stained, a good copy of a fragile book. OCLC locates 2 copies (Henry E. Huntington Library and UCLA). Rare. Not in OSU. (#164366).

Price: $350.00

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