THE BODY-SNATCHER. Robert Louis Stevenson.


Illustrated. New York: The Merriam Company, n.d. [1895]. 3 pp undated ads. Original violet cloth decorated in dark violet.

First Edition, issued as the second volume in Merriam's "Violet Series." This is Stevenson's famous tale about the anatomist "K---" and his need for cadavres (based undoubtedly upon the career of Robert Knox, 1793-1862); the 1945 film of the same title starred Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. RLS actually wrote this tale in mid-1881, to be part of a collection of supernatural tales which he referred to as "creepers"; he never completed the project, but a few of the tales remain. Ironically this grisly tale's first appearance was in the Pall Mall Gazette's 1884 Christmas Extra (substituted at the last moment for a briefer RLS tale, in order to fulfill a commitment of sufficient length). It is equally ironic that such a grisly story would first appear in book form in this cute little violet volume decorated with flowers.

This is an attractive, nearly fine copy, unusually free of soil or wear (the lettering on the spine is a little faded as always, and there are small tape-stains on the endpapers); there is no bubbling of the cloth, which is atypical for this book. Beinecke 608. Item #11621

Price: $1,150.00

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