THE OPEN BOAT AND OTHER TALES OF ADVENTURE. New York: William Heinemann, 1898. Octavo, pp. [1-8] [1-3] 4-301 [302: printer's imprint] [303-304: ads], publisher's blue cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black, all edges trimmed. First British edition, greatly enlarged, later binding. Crane's best collection of short fiction, including several of his most powerful and best known stories. "The Open Boat," one of Crane's finest short stories, "was based upon his own experiences on his way to Cuba as a correspondent during the filibustering expeditions preceding the Cuban War. The emotions and reactions of four men in an open boat after a wreck are given with an insight and a fidelity to fact that makes the story memorable." - Quinn, American Fiction, p. 536. The collection also contains several tales based on Crane's western trip in 1895 to Mexico via Nebraska, Louisiana, Arkansas and Texas, including his archetypal "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," in which the mythical Old West yields to the reality of civilization. The fine "Death and the Child," a war story set during the Turko-Greek War in 1897, is "clearly a version of THE RED BADGE OF COURAGE, which it resembles in the incident of panicky flight, in its implication of nature in a drama of self discovery, and in its imagery of the psychological distress that motivates the hero. But it is also like 'The Open Boat' in that its protagonist is in a measure -- up to the moment of panic -- introspective and contemplative." - James B. Colvert, "Stephen Crane," DLB 12 (1982), p. 122. This Heinemann edition (probably simultaneous with the U.S. edition) adds nine stories, collectively called "Midnight Sketches," to the eight published in the 1898 Doubleday & McClure edition. BAL 4080. Starrett 16. Cloth lightly rubbed, lower corner tips bruised, foxing to text leaves early and late (as is often the case), a very good copy. A scarce and important edition of this seminal collection of American short fiction. (#170685).
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