London: Macmillan and Co., 1888. 2 pp undated Vol I ads. Original dark blue-green cloth with gilt lines.
First Edition, which consisted of a mere 500 copies.
George Flack is the Paris correspondent for an American scandal sheet called The Reverberator. Francie Dosson, a pretty but not always tactful American girl, confides to Flack some gossip about the Proberts, the Frenchified (but originally American) family of her fiancé, Gaston Probert. Predictably to everybody except Francie, the nasty gossip winds up in The Reverberator, much to the horror of the stuffy Proberts... [Wkpd]
E&L describes two different colors of cloth in which this edition was bound -- "steel blue" and "dark green"; Blanck describes the two colors as "blue" and "greenish-blue." The color of this copy is a dark greenish-blue.
This set is remarkably in close-to-fine condition, with scarcely any soil or wear; even the original endpapers are intact. (The volumes are slightly aslant but we have never seen a set that was not so.) Of James's dozen multi-volume English editions, there is no first edition consisting of fewer copies: three had 750, two had 600, and seven including this one had 500. Most of the 500 copies would have gone directly to the lending libraries, to be disfigured with labels and read to death -- but not this copy: we have never had a better copy, in our almost-forty years in the trade. Supino 31.1.0; Edel & Laurence A31a; Blanck 10582. Item #14360