Stories. Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1884. Original dark royal blue cloth decorated in black.
First Edition of Hearn's first book (other than an 1882 translation of Gautier). This was Hearn's attempt to reconstruct "fantastically beautiful stories from the exotic literature which fascinated him" [OCAL].
Born in the Ionian Islands of Irish-Greek parents, Hearn was educated in England and then in France. (As a schoolboy in England he lost the sight of his left eye in an accident at play; constant reading overtaxed his right eye, over time greatly enlarging it. Partly for this reason, Hearn was afflicted with a morbid inferiority complex.) He emigrated to the United States in 1869, at the age of nineteen; his early years in the U.S. were spent in New York, Cincinnati and then New Orleans, where his principal success as a writer was in writing grotesque and macabre sketches for periodicals. It was not until 1890 that Hearn went to Japan, where he spent the rest of his life.
This copy is in dark royal blue cloth, one of at least seven colors that were used without precedence. It is in very good-plus condition -- both endpapers are cracked, but externally the book is quite attractive except for very light wear at the spine ends. Blanck 7912. Housed in a cloth slipcase, this copy bears the small leather "Blairhame" bookplate of the noted collector Mrs. J. Insley Blair. Item #13699