A LITTLE PILGRIM IN THE UNSEEN. London: Macmillan and Co., 1882. Octavo, pp. [1-8]  2-147 [148: blank], original flexible gray cloth, front panel stamped in gold and blind, spine panel lettered in gold, rear panel ruled in blind with Macmillan monogram stamped in blind at center. First edition. The first of the Little Pilgrim books, published anonymously, collecting "A Little Pilgrim: In the Unseen" (MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE, May 1882) and "The Little Pilgrim Goes Up Higher" (MACMILLAN'S MAGAZINE, September 1882). "During her lifetime Oliphant's most popular supernatural fiction was a series of stories about a dead women whom she called the Little Pilgrim. A goodhearted soul, the Little Pilgrim went to Heaven but soon found it necessary to spread her goodwill back on Earth and in Hell. These stories were immensely popular in America, but today are infuriating for their mawkish, smug religiosity." - Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, pp. 308-09. "Smugly sentimental after-death experiences ... Told in a simple, very effective language, but in subject matter mawkish to the point of being offensive; the worst side of Victorian religiosity." - Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 1255. The Little Pilgrim "tales are, all the same, less sanctimonious than they appear at first glance ... Beneath the surface placidity of these tales... Oliphant presents a version of the deep (perhaps terminal) crisis of modern Christianity." - Bleiler (ed), Supernatural Fiction Writers: Fantasy and Horror, p. 264. Ashley, Who's Who in Horror and Fantasy Fiction, p. 141. Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature 2-135. Wilson, Shadows in the Attic, p. 395. Bleiler (1978), p. 150. Reginald 10966. Sadleir 1871. Spine lean (as usual), spine a bit spotted, cloth rubbed at spine ends and corner tips, some darkening to endpapers, a very good copy. Delicate binding, stapled signatures -- most copies are in horrible condition. Quite a nice copy of an important and very scarce book. (#170315).
No statement of printing.