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Limehouse Nights. Tales of Chinatown - Signed by ‘Barnaby Ross’ and ‘Ellery Queen’ - Thomas Burke

1916 - Grant Richards, London - First Edition, First Issue
A superb copy of this collection of short stories, with fine provenance, not only signed by ‘Barnaby Ross’ and ‘Ellery Queen’, but described by them in Queen’s Quorum as a work of high literary art’, ‘the tales of subtle murder and Oriental passion’, which ‘became a classic overnight.’ Housed in a custom made leather slipcase and cloth chemise.

‘A London native, Burke knew the city intimately and brought it to life in essays, mood pieces, and short stories, most of which had a melodramatic atmosphere of crime. His first and best crime book was
Limehouse Nights (1916), a series of violent tales that rely on authentic background and Oriental flavour for their readability. Subtle passion and sinister murders abound.’ – Stenbrunner & Penzler.

Burke’s best friend ‘was the original model for the character of Quong Lee, the Chinatown philosopher in
Limehouse Nights... Several years later, when his aged friend was deported for having operated an opium den, Burke was inspired to write the first of his collection of short stores about Limehouse. To Burke, whose literary credo was “to tell a story as ably as Ambrose Bierce and to see and write as clearly as Stephen Crane,” Limehouse Nights was “admittedly violent stuff written hastily,” as a means of “simply telling tales”. But it firmly established his literary reputation in Britain, and the film adaptation of the first tale in the collection under the title Broken Blossoms extended the boundaries of his reputation internationally.’ – Reilly 
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Price HK$ 18,000