(Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company, 1897). 200 x 130 mm. (7 3/4 x 5 1/8"). ix, [i], 390 pp. FIRST EDITION, First Issue, before advertisement leaf and publisher's catalogue.
Fine modern black crushed morocco by Bayntun Riviere (stamp-signed on front turn-in), covers with double gilt fillet border, raised bands, spine compartments similarly framed, gilt titling, gilt-ruled turn-ins, marbled endpapers, top edge gilt, other edges untrimmed. Original cloth covers and spine bound in. Occasional mild marginal foxing or small stains, otherwise A VERY FINE COPY, clean, fresh, and wide margined, and in an attractive unworn binding.
This is the earliest edition of the most famous and influential vampire tale of all. Stoker (1847-1912) was inspired by the folklore of his native Ireland and by the Gothic novels of his countryman Sheridan Le Fanu. As DNB observes, the "complex and highly symbolic" plot here "illustrated [the author's] fears about a world approaching a new century, about the unspeakable things which could happen to ordinary people, and about male insecurity and the dangers of subservience to another person. . . . Favourably compared with Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights, and Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher, it was considered weird and powerful, one of the best in the supernatural line." Received with enthusiasm by critics and the public alike, it went through 11 editions in Stoker's lifetime, and it continues to resonate with readers and to inspire other artists. This is not an especially rare book, but it is not common to find a well-preserved copy, and our appealing morocco binding provides a welcome alternative to the publisher's yellow cloth, which invariably shows up very soiled. (ST13178)
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PJP Catalog: XMAS16.052ca17bf