TALES TOLD BY THE FIRESIDE. London: Elliot Stock, 62, Paternoster Row, E. C., 1896. Octavo, pp. [1-4]  2-3 [4-5] 6-255 [256: ad], publisher's green cloth, front and spine panels stamped in black and gold, all edges untrimmed, floral patterned endpapers. First edition. "According to his introduction, the seven stories in TALES TOLD BY THE FIRESIDE are transcripts of stories with which Charles Bell's relatives entertained friends and guests after dinner on long winter evenings. Most of the stories are set in the county of Derry in Northern Ireland, and Bell claims they are founded on fact. All of them involve romantic entanglements, some of which resolve themselves into happy marriages and others which end tragically. Unsurprisingly, since Bell is a minister and his descriptions of his relatives emphasize their religious beliefs, the fates that befall the characters illustrate the pitfalls of sin and the mercy of God's forgiveness. In 'My Uncle's Story,' a vicar is visited by the ghost of a woman he used to love who pleads with him to save her young son from the lifestyle of his profligate father, a military captain prone to drink and gambling. Whether the vicar actually sees a ghost or is dreaming is left ambiguous. Despite being competently written and containing nice touches of local color, Bell's stories are plodding and predictable" (Boyd White). Gift inscription on verso of front free endpaper. Cloth worn at edges, spotted and scuffed, a good copy. (#170720).
No statement of printing.