London: Methuen & Co., 1901. 32 pp ads dated March 1911. Original lacquered red cloth with an intricate blind-stamped design (which is initialed "GAR").
First English Edition of this novel which was considered by the critics to be "mystifying" and "baffling." An un-named narrator rides a train from Paddington to a country estate where he spends the weekend; on the trip he tries to "solve" the love relationships between the other people -- the stronger members in relationships seem to draw their vitality out of their weaker partners, but also relationships seem to change over the course of the weekend. "THE SACRED FOUNT sold poorly -- the poorest of all the James titles published by Methuen. Ten years later, apparently encouraged by the success of THE OUTCRY, which went into four printings, Methuen bound a quantity of remaining sheets of the earlier novel" [E&L]; this explains this copy's 1911 ad catalogue.
This is an attractive copy, fine except for (as usual) a slightly dulled spine. Supino 55.7.0 (copy with March 1911 ads); Edel & Laurence A55b. Item #14730