New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901. Original grey-green paper-covered boards decorated in gilt.
First Edition of Edith Wharton's second collection of short stories; this volume includes seven, all appearing in book form for the first time. This was her third volume of fiction, following THE GREATER INCLINATION (1899, stories) and THE TOUCHSTONE (1900, a novella).~The seven items in CRUCIAL INSTANCES are so clearly inferior to the best of THE GREATER INCLINATION that it has even been speculated that Edith Wharton had written them some years earlier and had dragged them out of her drawer in the winter of 1901 to meet contractual obligations. In fact, they were all written... after THE TOUCHSTONE -- in 1900 and 1901 [Lewis].~This is a remarkably fine, bright copy, without any of the edge-wear so often seen on paper-covered boards; the front endpaper has a Sept. 1901 inscription, and the rear one has a shadow where a clipping must once have resided. These early Wharton books in paper-covered boards do not turn up in any better shape. Garrison A5.I.a (binding A). Item #13635