FIDDLE O' DREAMS AND MORE. Arthur Morrison.

FIDDLE O' DREAMS AND MORE. London: Hutchinson & Co. (Publishers) Ltd., [1933]. Octavo, pp. [1-12] 13-286 [287] [288: blank] [note: first leaf is a blank] + 12-page undated publisher's catalogue inserted at rear, original orange cloth, spine panel stamped in black. First edition. This is probably a remainder issue. Some copies are found in raspberry cloth with an Autumn 1933 publisher’s catalogue. This copy is bound in orange cloth with a 12-page undated publisher’s catalogue. The dust jacket is the 7/6 first printing jacket advertising "Hutchinson’s New Fiction” published in 1933. This is a presentation copy with an inscription by Morrison to fellow author of popular fiction Coulson Kernahan dated February 1941 on the front free endpaper: "Coulson Kernaham, / in old time remembrance / from Arthur Morrison / February 1941." Included is a fine two-page handwritten letter from Morrison to Kernahan dated 17 February 1941 about the book, which flopped: "My dear Coulson Kernahan, / It pleased me to hear from you / in such kind terms, sad as was the / occasion; and I am wondering if it / is quite the right time to inflict on you / a copy of a book of mine of which you / have probably never heard --as it would / seem have few others. Anyhow I risk / it and do so. / It is the last book I shall issue, / and was chiefly a mere gathering-up of / magazine pot-boilers which had not / been included in earlier books. Mostly, / as I have said, they were mere pot-boilers / dating many years back, but there are / just one or two tales included of which I / am not ashamed. The book was secreted, / rather than published, just when old / Hutchinson died, and it was badly / got up, its corrections neglected, missed / the Christmas trade, and was a flop! / If all these apologies are not / sufficient excuse, I know you will / forgive me all the same. / Yours ever / Arthur Morrison." A mixed collection of short fiction, "a mere gathering-up of potboilers" according to Morrison, mostly crime, fantasy and SF stories. "Mixed collection of fifteen stories originally published between 1902 and 1914 in various periodicals, including THE DAILY STANDARD UNION, LIPPINCOTT'S MAGAZINE, and THE STRAND MAGAZINE. Several stories feature the humorous misadventures of Billy Blenkin, Snorkey Timms, and Dido Fox, burglars and conmen who are continually try to outfox one another. Other stories, such as 'Lies Unregistered' and 'A Professional Episode' are serious, ironic studies of individuals who live on the margins of society, including a hangman who worries about his family having to move if his neighbors ever learn of his actual profession. Four stories feature fantastic content. 'Fiddle O' Dreams' recounts how an aging widower is visited by Death in the form of a kindly roving fiddler whose music immerses the elderly man in comforting dreams of his youth. 'The Four-Want Way' is a ghost story about a crossroads haunted by the spirit of Derifal, a notorious robber who was eventually hanged for beating his mother to death. 'The Thing in the Upper Room' tells how Attwatter, a young, poor English painter, takes up residence in a haunted apartment in a Parisian boarding house and begins to suffer memory lapses whenever he becomes possessed by an evil entity that drives him to commit horrific murders. 'Myxomycetes' is a whimsical science fiction story, the kind of tale Robert Sheckley would write decades later, in which a group of swindlers running an investment scam called Commercial Syntheses, Unlimited, fund a scientist who successfully creates artificial life, a protozoa that spreads via spores that produce a blob-like jelly that consumes anything organic, including hair and clothes. While most of the tales in FIDDLE O' DREAMS are somewhat routine, these four stories are highly imaginative, particularly "The Thing in the Upper Room," which is an excellent supernatural horror story." - Boyd White. Bleiler (The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 613 mm) notes that this book is "very rare." Tuck (1978), pp. 319-320. Hubin (1994), p. 586. Wolff 4941. Rust stain from paper clip at top edge of front free endpaper (and top left edge of letter as well), some foxing to first two leaves, else a fine copy. The jacket is torn and chipped where the 7/6 price is printed, probably removing a sticker with a lowered price. The pictorial jacket has wear and short tears at edges, as well as several small chips, latter at top edge of front panel and front corner tips. A very scarce book rarely found in jacket. A wonderful association copy. (#164432).

Price: $3,500.00

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Printing identification statement for this book:
"First published 1933" on copyright page.