Authorized Edition. New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1886. 2 pp undated ads. Original yellow wrappers printed in black.
First American Edition of this mystery by the noted Scottish novelist, poet and literary critic -- perhaps now best known for the twelve "Fairy Books" for children (1889-1910) that he adapted and edited. Lang's THE MARK OF CAIN is one of the earliest novels to feature, in a big way, tattoos -- a man has his body tattooed exactly like someone else's, then kills that man and impersonates him in order to claim his inheritance. (Along the same vein, two years later H. Rider Haggard wrote MR. MEESON'S WILL, in which a critical will is tattooed upon a woman's body.) THE MARK OF CAIN also involves, in a smaller way, a "flying machine" -- and thus is science fiction for its time.
This copy is bound in yellow wrappers, which was Scibner's less-expensive option (to hard-bound cloth) during the 1880s. It is in remarkably near-fine condition (very light soil, but scarcely any wear); the rear cover advertises another Scribner's book of that year, fellow Scot's STRANGE CASE OF DR. JEKYLL AND MR. HYDE. Hubin p. 239. Item #14608