London: Mills & Boon, Limited, 1909. First Edition. Hardcover. First Impression (published August 1909 on verso of title page) of this "extremely difficult to find" collection of 25 weird, supernatural, and fantastic stories. Crown 8vo (189 x 121mm): ,x,306,pp. Publisher's forest green cloth, upper cover and spine lettered in gilt, bottom edge untrimmed. Inscribed by Baring on fly-leaf, "C. L. from M. B., 1910." "C. L." is identified in a pencil note on the front paste-down as Constance Lytton (Lady Constance Georgina Bulwer-Lytton [1869-1923], the influential British suffragette and campaigner for prison reform, votes for women, and birth control. An excellent copy with dust-soiled top edge, but square and tightly bound, gilt undiminished, internally fresh. Clute & Grant, p. 85. Sullivan, p. 22. Locke I, p. 27. Fine. Item #BB2261
Most of the stories previously were published in London's Morning Post, including the "outstanding" story "Venus," featuring astral projection to Earth's sister planet, where enormous mushrooms are fed upon by giant caterpillars; "The Shadow of a Midnight," about a premonitory vision of murder, and the title tale, a classical myth translated to turn-of-the-century Mayfair. (Sullivan) Baring descended from a long line of financiers (his farther was first Baron Revelstoke, director of the Bank of England and senior partner of Baring Bros.). After Eton and Cambridge, Maurice joined the diplomatic service then worked as a journalist and reported the Russo-Japanese War from Manchuria. Later he was a correspondent in Russia and is credited with introducing Chekov's work to the West. He was widely connected socially, including to some of the Cambridge Apostles, to The Coterie, and to the literary group around G. K. Chesterton and Hilaire Belloc. Many of his poems, stories, and novels, according to the ODNB, "have come to be regarded as minor masterpieces in character study and social depiction," still appreciated "for the purity and simplicity of their style, and for the sensitivity and erudition which they display." 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.).