ALICIA WARLOCK, (A Mystery,) and Other Stories. Wilkie Collins.
ALICIA WARLOCK, (A Mystery,) and Other Stories.

ALICIA WARLOCK, (A Mystery,) and Other Stories.

Boston: William F. Gill & Company, 1875. 2 pp preliminary undated ads. Original terra-cotta cloth.

First American Edition of this supernatural tale, in which

an itinerant ostler wakes on the night of his birthday to see the apparition of a woman trying to stab him with a clasp knife. Seven years later he marries... [His wife] takes to drink and fulfils the prophecy by attacking him on his birthday... [Gasson]

Collins originally wrote this as "The Ostler," the second part of the Household Words Christmas number for 1855, and as such it was collected in his book THE QUEEN OF HEARTS. Then in preparation for his American tour almost two decades later, he significantly altered and enlarged it -- per the Introductory Note in this volume:

The original version of this story was published, many years ago, in "Household Words." In the present version new characters and new incidents are introduced; and a new beginning and ending have been written. Indeed, the whole complexion of the narrative differs so essentially from the older and shorter version, as to justify me in believing that the reader will find in these pages what is, to all practical intents and purposes, a new story.

This new version was collected (as "The Dream Woman") in the 1874 London two-decker THE FROZEN DEEP AND OTHER STORIES. The following year William Gill of Boston published his own edition of THE FROZEN DEEP, plus this edition of ALICIA WARLOCK -- which also includes "A Sane Madman," "The Fatal Cradle," "The Queen's Revenge" and several others.

This copy is in terra-cotta cloth; some were in green cloth, and some in printed wrappers. Condition is close to fine, with just a bit of soil but with essentially no wear. The front paste-down bears the book-label of the Masonic Library of Frederick, Maryland (as well as the original Frederick bookseller's ticket) -- but there are no other library markings in the volume. A curiously uncommon edition. Gasson p. 4; Parrish & Miller p. 97; Bleiler 408. Item #14959

Price: $725.00

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