With Illustrations by E.W. Kemble. New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1898. Original terra-cotta cloth decorated in gilt and black, with cover illustration affixed.
First Edition of Dunbar's first volume of fiction, preceded by three volumes of verse -- OAK AND IVY (1893), MAJORS AND MINORS (1895) and LYRICS OF LOWLY LIFE (1896). This is a collection of twelve short stories about "Negro Life" in the South; Dunbar's third-person narration is in proper English, but the dialogue is in the dialect that he knew so well. "At Shaft 11" is an interesting tale of racial discord and harmony that takes place during a violent strike at a West Virginia coal mine: a crew of black "scabs" is sent in by management to replace striking white miners. The illustrations (two of which are in color) are by E.W. Kemble, who also illustrated some Joel Chandler Harris books; the binding design (initialed) is by George Wharton Edwards.~This is a bright, fine copy, with scarcely any wear. Blanck 4921. Item #13779