London: Methuen & Co., 1895. 32 pp ads dated September 1895. Original dark blue cloth decorated in gilt.
First Edition of this collection of fifteen tales, along a science fiction vein -- Wells's first book of short stories and his second volume of science fiction (after THE TIME MACHINE). The title tale concerns an anarchist who steals what he thinks is cholera bacteria with which to infect all of London -- when in fact the bacteria only turn victims bright blue (a "marvellous twist from the macabre to the ludicrous" - Smith). Also included are "The Flowering of the Strange Orchid," "The Lord of the Dynamos" and "The Flying Man."
This is a handsome copy, virtually without wear -- fine except that the spine gilt is slightly less bright than the front cover gilt. In our experience Wells's less-known science fiction volumes, such as this one and THE PLATTNER STORY, are considerably scarcer than his better-known ones such as THE WAR OF THE WORLDS, THE INVISIBLE MAN and THE TIME MACHINE. Hammond C1; Wells Soc. 6; Currey p. 523. Housed in a custom clamshell case. Item #3112