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Book Description

FIRST EDITION. 8vo, pp. [iv], 294. [10 adverts]. Blue cloth, lettered and decorated in gilt and blind. Blue Celtic patterned endpapers. Fore- and bottom edges untrimmed. Wear and bruising to extremities, heel flapping with 4.5cm tear along bottom joint. Edges darkened. Pencil POI to ffep, occasional fox spots, else, clean and tight. Good+ Fairly scarce in the trade.
Dealer Notes
Fiona Macleod’s Celtic romances snagged the attention of late Victorian readers, becoming central to the Celtic revival. Sharp went to great lengths to keep his pseudonym intact, even embroiling his sister, Mary Beatrice Sharp, in his cross-sex/gender masquerade by persuading her to pen letters as Macleod. Now held by The School of Advanced Study (SAS), University of London, the letters reveal Macleod’s “sharp tongue which she exercised in correspondence when she thought her privacy or integrity endangered” (William Sharp ‘Fiona Macleod’ Archive note, SAS).
“[F]or all of Macleod’s literary output,” Bobby Derie avers, “the collection of short stories The Sin-Eater and Other Tales and Episodes (1895), particularly the title story, has come to be the most impactful—albeit in a way that Sharp/Macleod could not have foreseen, unless they really did have the Sight.” (Derie, 2021). Reprinted in the 1920 collection Best Psychic Stories, Macleod’s title story caught the attention of H. P. Lovecraft, who lifted a line of Celtic for his own short story ‘The Rats in the Walls,’ assuming no one would notice, but Texas pulp author and Celtophile Robert E. Howard did (see Derie’s blog for the whole story). Macleod’s short story had multiple afterlives, featuring in the H. P. Lovecraft’s Favourite Horror Stories series, as well as spawning an episode in NBC’s Night Gallery television series (1970-3).
Bobby Derie (2021) ‘“The Sin-Eater” (1895) by Fiona Macleod,’ Deep Cuts In a Lovecraftian Vein Blog
Author Macleod, Fiona [i.e. SHARP, William]
Date [1895]
Publisher Edinburgh; Chicago: Patrick Geddes & Colleagues; Stone & Kimball, Chicago
Condition Good+

Price: £70.00

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