KILDHURM'S OAK. New York: A. L. Burt, Publisher, n.d. [1889?]. Octavo, pp. [1-5] 6-219 [220: blank] [221-224: ads], flyleaves at front and rear, original decorated tan cloth, front panel stamped in black, spine panel stamped in black and gold, floral patterned endpapers. First edition. The book is copyright 1888, but according to The American Catalogue it was published in 1889. Collects "Kildhurm's Oak" (pp. [5]-137) and "A Strange Friend" (pp. 138-219), the first U.S. book publication of both titles. "Kildhurm's Oak" was first published in ELLICE QUENTIN AND OTHER STORIES, 2 volumes, (London: Chatto & Windus, 1880). "A Strange Friend" was first published in the UK edition of DAVID POINDEXTER'S DISAPPEARANCE AND OTHER TALES (London: Chatto & Windus, 1888). "A Strange Friend" was omitted from the U.S. edition of DAVID POINDEXTER'S DISAPPEARANCE AND OTHER TALES (New York: Appleton, 1988). According to The American Catalogue, KILDHURM'S OAK was published in 1889 by Burt as #9 in their "Manhattan" series in cloth at $1.00 and in paper at 25¢. According to a publisher's advertisement in this copy, this book is part of Burt's "Popular American Novels," issued in "handsome cloth binding" at $1.00. This is a neo-Gothic horror tale; the personification of a malignant spirit in a tree. The story "constitutes one of Hawthorne's rare uses of the ambiguous terror... [It] is interesting for its use of the recurrent Hawthorne version of the Gothic, but it cannot be taken very seriously as a work of fiction." - Bassan, Hawthorne's Son: The Life and Literary Career of Julian Hawthorne (1970), p. 129. The precursor to "Kildhurm's Oak" was "The Oak-Tree's Christmas Gift" (1872), whose theme of "reenactment" was obviously borrowed from his father's THE HOUSE OF SEVEN GABLES (1851). "Feverishly presented, with many gaucheries, but also with some strokes of imagination. The theme might well have appealed to Nathaniel Hawthorne, but how differently he would have handled it!" - Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction 773. Sullivan (ed), The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural, p. 196. Bleiler (1978), p. 96. Reginald 06941. Wright (III) 2591. Early owner's signature and 1889 date on blank recto of advertising leaf preceding title leaf. A clean, bright, very good copy. (#90520).

Price: $250.00

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