San Francisco: E.L.G. Steele, 1891. Original grey cloth.
First Edition of Bierce's best-known work, a collection of 19 intense supernatural tales. As Bierce points out in his dedicatory note, "Denied existence by the chief publishing houses of the country, this book owes itself to Mr. E.L.G. Steele, merchant, of this city."
"These grim, vivid stories, reminiscent of Poe's tales of horror, are marked by an ingenious use of the surprise ending and a realistic study of tense emotional states" [OCAL]. Included are "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" ("a powerful story, brilliantly told"), "A Watcher by the Dead" ("one of the better tellings of the fraudulent confrontation followed by madness") and "An Inhabitant of Carcosa" ("probably one of the most influential stories in the history of supernatural fiction, this has set off a whole graveyard school of supernatural horror") [quotes from Bleiler].
This copy is bound in grey cloth; the book also was bound in brown or light green (no priority). It is in near-fine condition (spine lettering somewhat dull as usual, but essentially no wear). Blanck 1109; Bleiler 162; a Johnson High Spot (noting that "Owl Creek Bridge" "had the honor to be included in Carolyn Wells's collection (1923) of the ten best mystery tales of all time"). Provenance: endpaper ink-stamps of H[enry]. M. Landsberger -- a major mover and shaker of 1890-to-1920 San Francisco, head of Landsberger & Co., founded by his father Isidor who was big in early winemaking; the company occupied the Sheldon Building on First Street -- built in 1907 with new engineering, as it was the year after the earthquake. Item #14467