PUSHED BY UNSEEN HANDS ... Fourth Edition. Helen Hamilton Gardener, adopted name of Alice Chenoweth.

PUSHED BY UNSEEN HANDS ... Fourth Edition. Boston: Arena Publishing Company, n.d. [cop. 1890]. Octavo, pp. [1-9] 10-303 [304-306: blank] [307-308: two leaves (banks?) excised by the binder]; two leaves of publishers ads inserted at rear], title leaf is a cancel. inserted frontispiece, original apple green cloth, front panel stamped in black, spine panel stamped in gold, floral patterned endpapers. First edition, later issue? The only imprint cited by Wright is that of the Commonwealth Company, New York; the only imprint cited by The American Catalogue is that of Charles P. Somerby, New York; both bear 1892 copyright dates. OCLC records two additional imprints: Truth Seeker, New York, cop. 1892 and R. F. Fenno, New York, cop. 1890 (the latter probably a reprint). The status of the Arena issue is not clear, but the title leaf and ads in this issue are cancels which tends to indicate that Arena acquired sheets from Commonwealth or one of the other publishers cited above. The 1890 copyright date most likely refers to the date of initial magazine publication of the stories here first collected in book form. Gardener (1853-1925) was an independent thinker, agnostic, social reformer, advocate of woman's suffrage, and the first woman member of the United States Civil Service Commission. As an editor of the Arena Gardener contributed articles on humanitarian and feminist subjects. Her first stories, written for BELFORD'S MAGAZINE, drew a complimentary letter from Oliver Wendell Holmes. She published three novels and two collections of short fiction, all written with a directness and a vigor derived from deep feeling for her themes. PUSHED BY UNSEEN HANDS collects ten stories including an occult tale, "An Echo from Shiloh," (a seance stirs up a Civil War memory involving a dying soldier whose pet squirrel chooses to be buried alive with him) and four criminous tales, "Old Safety-Valve's Last Run," "A Hall of Heredity," a study of progressive insanity ending with matricide, "Onyx and Gold" and "A Prison Puzzle." Also, "His Mother's Boy" which concerns ancestral memory. The stories in this collection reflect Gardener's view that "in the industrial world the unseen hand of greed has pushed millions of men into an abjectness measured only by the awful limits of their dependence. It has fostered in the race those mental, moral and physical conditions which retard even the painfully slow progress of natural evolution toward a loftier manhood." Gardener's earlier collection of short fiction, A THOUGHTLESS YES ... (1890), includes science fiction and mystery stories. See Wright (III) 2097 (who cites only the copy at Yale and does not provide story contents). Not in Hubin (1994). A clean, bright, nearly fine copy printed on good quality text paper. All editions (issues?) of this book are uncommon. (#95008).

Price: $250.00

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