THE POLISH JEW (THE ORIGINAL WORK UPON WHICH THE PLAY OF "THE BELLS" IS FOUNDED). London: Ward, Lock and Co., Warwick House, Dorset Buildings, Salisbury Square, E. C., n.d. [After 1877.]. Octavo, pp. [i-v] vi-xi [xii] [1] 2-229 [230: printer's imprint] [231-244: ads], four full-page illustrations, original decorated green cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black and gold, rear panel stamped in blind, cream coated endpapers. Later printing. Misleadingly titled collection (issued as part of Ward, Lock's "Erckmann-Chatrian Library") that includes the text of the three-act dramatic version of THE POLISH JEW (a.k.a. THE BELLS) and ten short stories, including weird tales "The Invisible Eye" and "Hans Schnapps' Spy Glass" (a.k.a. "The Wonderful Glass"). This collection was apparently first published by Ward, Lock & Tyler in 1873 as THE POLISH JEW AND OTHER TALES, following earlier separate editions of THE POLISH JEW published by John C. Hotten (1872) and (as THE BELLS) by Tinsley Bros (1872), Ward, Lock & Tyler (1873) and others. The ten short stories are translations of tales selected from CONTES ET ROMANS POPULAIRES (Paris 1867). See Topp, Victorian Yellowbacks & Paperbacks, 1849-1905, II, pp. 118-19), who describes the 1873 Ward, Locke & Tyler edition, titled THE POLISH JEW AND OTHER TALES, bound in white pictorial wrappers, issued as part of their "Beeton's Erckmann-Chatrian Library." "Their best known work in translation is LE JUIF POLONAIS (1871; translated as THE POLISH JEW), describing the psychological decline of a murderer; in its long-running stage version, THE BELLS, this became Henry Irving's most celebrated role... They wrote many supernatural and fantasy short stories... These were much admired – in their original French texts – by M. R. James and other connoisseurs of French romantic Gothic fiction." – Clute and Grant (eds), The Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997), pp. 319-20. "Erckmann-Chatrian stand apart from most of their contemporaries on the Continent who wrote in this vein. They did not essay the conte cruel, nor go in for paranoid fantasies, such as those of Maupassant. Their tales are simple and straightforward, with all the effects up front. By rights they should have dated severely. The pleasant surprise awaiting those who dig out their tales is that they haven't." – Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, pp. 144-45. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 612. Bleiler, Science-Fiction: The Early Years 682. Bleiler (1978), p. 69. Owner's name on front free endpaper. Lower spine end and corner tips rubbed, a very good copy. (#170385).

Price: $150.00

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