CRAZY TALES. and: MAKARONY FABLES. Fables for Grown Gentlemen. John Hall-Stevenson.
CRAZY TALES. and: MAKARONY FABLES. Fables for Grown Gentlemen.

CRAZY TALES. and: MAKARONY FABLES. Fables for Grown Gentlemen.

(Together, two volumes.) London: Printed for Distribution amongst Private Subscribers Only, 1894/1897. Original blind-stamped green/maroon cloth.

These two collections of ribald verse were clandestine publications by the London publisher Leonard Smithers -- who at the turn of the century was the publisher of choice (often the only choice) for writers and illustrators like Oscar Wilde and Aubrey Beardsley. "Ribald" is actually too kind -- today these verses are totally inappropriate (for example "Miss in Her Teens," about 14-year-old Molly and her 15-year-old cousin Dick). The original publication was in the Eighteenth Century: squire of Skelton Castle, Hall-Stevenson had been an intimate friend of Laurence Sterne, and was the original for "Eugenius" in TRISTRAM SHANDY and A SENTIMENTAL JOURNEY; he formed the "club of demoniacks" at his inherited castle (nicknamed "Crazy Castle"), and wrote verses and tales such as these for the members. (His name was John Hall, but he added his wife's surname when we married Anne Stevenson.)

CRAZY TALES consisted of 210 numbered copies, of which this is copy #112; MAKARONY FABLES consisted of 300 copies, but we have never seen a copy numbered. Both volumes are in fine condition, except that the maroon cloth of the second volume has some fading -- as usual for that color. See NCBEL II 685. Item #14442

Price: $250.00

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