Pain, Barry

Stories in the Dark, 1901

Published: Grant Richards, London

Date: 1901

A scarce First Edition, with original yellow cloth covers with decorative upper board and black lettering to the spine & upper board, in good condition with some darkening and scuffing to the tips of the spine, marks to the rear board and rubbing to upper board as seen in photos. Pasted inside, opposite title page, the original front cover of the paperback edition, in colour and extremely well preserved (in addition to the rare large paper limited issue of 250 copies signed by Pain, there were two issues of the trade copies, some bound in pictorial yellow cloth and the others bound in pictorial wrappers in shilling shocker format). Internally clean, with sporadic light marks to pages, offsetting to endpapers and neat tape repair between the endboard and ffep, at front and rear. Webbing showing in a couple of places but all still held firmly together. Overall a little fragile but still a good copy. 191pp.

Barry Eric Odell Pain (1864-1928) was an English journalist, poet and a prolific writer. Some of his works, including Stories in the Dark, Stories in the Grey (1911) and Stories without Tears (1912), place him among the writers of Psychological and Cosmic Horror from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. With a mixture of humour, satire and cruelty, many of his tales are agonizing and horrifying, with a strong sense of diabolical evil. "The Moon Slave" for example, describes what happens to a young girl who dances in the moonlight with a creature that turns out to have a cloven hoof. Others, like 'The Diary of a God' verge more on the Psychological Horror as the drama of the story lies in the registering of the effect of the horrific happening on the mind rather than the happening itself.




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