THE WONDERFUL VISIT. London: J. M. Dent and Co. ... / New York: Macmillan Co., 1895. Octavo, pp. [i-vii] viii 1-251 [252: blank], title page printed in orange and black, original pictorial red buckram over bevel-edged boards, front and spine panels stamped in gold, t.e.g., fore and bottom edges untrimmed. First edition, variant binding (possibly later) with gilt angel (designed by Arthur Rackham) on front panel. A dark satire based on a remark attributed to John Ruskin, that if an angel came to earth someone would be sure to shoot it. "... an underrated work that deserves to be more widely read." - Survey of Modern Fantasy Literature V, pp. 2162-4. Barron (ed), Fantasy Literature 2-155. Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 1675. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy, p. 228. Schlobin, The Literature of Fantasy 1096. Bleiler (1978), p. 205. Reginald 15116. Currey (2002), p. 426 (binding B). Hammond B2. Wells 5. Wells Society 5. Wells and Hammond have the binding information reversed: copies of this book with the angel on the front cover are not advance copies and are far more common than those without the figure. A fine "like new" copy. Accompanied by an important autograph letter signed (ALs) from Wells to his publisher, J. M. Dent, dated 24 September 1895, 4 pages on folded octavo sheet embossed "Lynton, / Maybury Road, / Working." A detailed discussion of Wells's financial arrangements with Dent for THE WONDERFUL VISIT. Wells discusses Dent's discount agreement with a retail bookseller and how is affects his royalty. "I'm afraid I can't accept 15% on what Smith's pay you, as you suggest, anxious as I am for the advertisement in their stalls ... Publication at a nett price is entirely to their advantage (saving them the competition of the discount bookseller) & I certainly think it an unfair abuse of their monopoly for them to insist on terms that will not give you a profit & enable you to pay my royalty ..." In the letter Wells mentions his financial arrangement with Heinemann for THE TIME MACHINE, and his "next" book, THE ISLAND OF DOCTOR MOREAU. Throughout his writing career Wells pestered his publishers over contract terms and commissions. This letter is a fine example of the sharp watch Wells kept over his financial arrangements with publishers. Approximately 240 words. The letter has two pin holes at top left corner; it is otherwise in fine condition. Book and letter enclosed in fleece lined cloth folder and quarter maroon pebbled morocco and red cloth slipcase, spine panel lettered and tooled in gold. (#80389).
No statement of printing.