WIDDERSHINS. Oliver Onions.


London: Martin Secker, 1911. 4 pp undated ads. Original rose-orange cloth decorated in gilt, top edge of the pages stained orange.

First Edition of this highly-collected, and quite scarce, collection of nine ghost stories. It includes what Algernon Blackwood cited as "the most horrible and beautiful ever written..." -- the lead-off novella "The Beckoning Fair One," which would be filmed in 1968 as the horror film "A Quiet Place in the Country." George Oliver Onions (1873-1961) dropped his first name to form his pen name; at the end of the Great War he legally dropped his last name, though he continued writing with the same pen name. Although Onions wrote in a variety of genres, it is for ghost stories, and especially for this volume, that collectors seek him out today. (In the author's prefatory Note, Onions observes "... it has been suggested that a definition should be given of the word that forms this volume's title. That word means 'contrary to the course of the Sun'.")

This is a very good-plus, perhaps near-fine copy -- spine a little faded (as always with this color cloth), but little wear or soil; the front paste-down bears a small crown-C bookplate where a larger one once resided. Bleiler 1261 ("A greatly underestimated writer... A landmark book in the history of supernatural fiction"). Item #14639

Price: $1,250.00