THE MOONSTONE. A Novel. Wilkie Collins.


[George Westinghouse to his wife] With Many Illustrations. New York: Harper & Brothers, 1868. 2 pp preliminary undated ads. Original purple-brown cloth.

First American (and first illustrated) Edition of this classic of detective fiction, issued in the same year as the London three-decker. THE MOONSTONE marked the end of Collins's peak period as a novelist: it was preceded by THE WOMAN IN WHITE (1860), NO NAME (1862) and ARMADALE (1866), and was followed by a transition into sensation or propaganda fiction -- especially regarding marriage and inheritance laws. Commenting on T.S. Eliot's opinion of this book ("the first, the longest, and the best of detective novels"), John Carter wrote

Mr. Eliot is inaccurate in his first adjective, a little rash perhaps in his second, but unlikely to meet with much disagreement over his third. If Poe created the short detective story, Wilkie Collins is the undisputed father of the full-length variety...

The American edition includes 66 wood engravings interspersed throughout the text.

This is a very good-plus copy, perhaps near-fine, with very minor wear at the spine ends and with a droplet-mark on the rear cover; as usual for this color cloth, the spine is faded to a honey brown. Gasson pp 106-108; Parrish & Miller pp 73-74 ("dull purple cloth"); Wolff 1368a; a Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone of Mystery Fiction. Item #14826

Price: $875.00

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