London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1931. Original green cloth, with dust jacket.
First Edition. As with Buchan's MIDWINTER (1923), this is a tale sited in Buchan's adopted home of Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds. Taking place during the reign of Henry VIII, a country boy is convinced by three self-serving men that he is sixth in descent from Edward III and thus should instead be King -- and that he should therefore kidnap Henry VIII. A band of vagabonds and a mystical forest woman also come into play.
To me THE BLANKET OF THE DARK is Buchan's most deeply felt novel: characters and actions are devices which fittingly embody his sense of a time of drastic change, and his own deep -- I would almost say wild -- love of his adopted countryside. The girl in the tale, like Katrine in WITCH WOOD, is a creature of ballad or myth... For Buchan she is the expression of the exhilaration, the quickened sense of life, that came to him as he roamed round Oxfordshire and felt in his bones the past. [Smith]
This volume is in fine condition; the pictorial dust jacket is very good-plus, with minor soil and with slight wear (not affecting print) at the top of the spine. Blanchard A91. Item #14173