Item #15182 THE WATCHER BY THE THRESHOLD and Other Tales. John Buchan.


Edinburgh and London: William Blackwood and Sons, 1902. 32 pp ads dated "2/02". Original blue cloth lettered in white and pictorially decorated in orange, black and white.

First Edition, first printing, first state -- of one of Buchan's earliest and scarcest fiction titles, and one of his creepiest. It is a collection of five fantastical tales, most with supernatural and horror elements that are drawn from Scottish folklore -- "No-Man's-Land," "The Far Islands," "The Watcher by the Threshold," "The Outgoing of the Tide" and "Fountainblue." Quoting from Bleiler regarding the fourth tale...

If one goes to the Sker sands on Beltane Eve (April 30th), on the ebb of tide, after midnight, one becomes the property of the Devil. Heriotside and Allie are lovers, and each is urged to go to the sands for a tryst -- Heriotside by a shadowy demon in human form, Allie by her witch mother...

(This title is not to be confused with a [1918] Buchan volume by the same title, by Doran of New York, which consisted of the first four of these tales, plus four others.)

This is a very good-plus copy of the first impression, with the ads in the earliest state. There is minor rubbing at the extremities, and occasional light foxing within; the original endpapers are intact. We have been able to offer this edition only thrice in our 40+ years in business. Blanchard A13; Bleiler Supernatural Fiction 291.

Provenance: bookplate of Wyatt Wyatt-Paine (1855-1935), barrister and author. Item #15182

Price: $1,350.00