London: G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1924. First Impression. Hardcover. First Edition (so stated) of the author's scarce first book, collecting seventeen stories, including several later reprinted in The Travelling Grave (1948). Crown 8vo (188 x 125mm): ,220,pp. Publisher's olive green buckram, upper cover and spine lettered in gold, fore- and bottom edges untrimmed; wanting the rare dust jacket. Spine just a bit dulled (much less than usually seen) but gilt bright, offsetting to end papers, else a spotless copy, apparently unread. Bleiler (Guide to Supernatural Fiction), p. 228. Sullivan (ed), Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror, pp. 192-93. Bleiler (Checklist), p. 94. Clute & Grant, p. 454. Fine-. Item #BB2097
Like many authors of his day, Hartley advanced toward full-time fiction writing via a collection of macabre short stories. The ghost story, he once wrote, is "if not the highest, certainly the most exacting form of literary art." And according to Sullivan, "No one was more exacting the in the genre than Hartley . . ." In the title story, a night watchman is visited by a faceless creature who asks some troubling questions, "calling the watchman's material and mental well being into fatal question." (Sullivan) Included here also are "Friends of the Bridegroom," "A Visit to the Dentist," "The Telephone Call," "A Condition of Release," and "The Last Time." N. B. With few exceptions (always identified), we only stock books in exceptional condition, carefully preserved in archival, removable mylar sleeves. All orders are packaged with care and posted promptly. Satisfaction guaranteed. (Fine Editions Ltd is a member of the Independent Online Booksellers Association, and we subscribe to its codes of ethics.).