The Beetle. A Mystery - Richard Marsh 1897 - Skeffington & Son, London - First Edition 'I saw him take a different shape before my eyes. His loose draperies fell about him…and there issued out of them a monstrous creature of the beetle tribe…'

An outstanding example of Richard Marsh’s best-selling gothic horror masterpiece. With four full page monochrome plates from illustrations by John Williamson.
  ‘Born Richard Bernard Heldmann, Marsh (1857–1915) was a prolific professional author who wrote scores of novels and hundreds of short stories in a number of popular genres, including the Gothic, crime thriller, detective story, humour and popular romance; as Bernard Heldmann, he also produced school and adventure stories for a juvenile audience. Heldmann had become ‘Richard Marsh’ because of an unfortunate conclusion to a youthful misdemeanour: in his mid-twenties, Heldmann had briefly assumed a number of false, gentlemanly identities, living off bad cheques before the law caught up with him and he was sentenced to eighteen months’ hard labour. After this escapade, he adopted the penname ‘Richard Marsh’ and proceeded to live another kind of double life as a pseudonymous author. He was wonderfully prolific, publishing on average three volumes a year and in 1900 managing as many as eight.’ – Rediscovering Richard Marsh, University of Wales.

Provenance: Nicholas Clayton, with his collection plate, and earlier indecipherable ownership inscription. Later from the collection of David and Patricia Cory, with their two bookplates.

Reference: Bleiler,
Checklist of Fantastic Literature, 193. Bleiler, Science Fiction & Supernatural Fiction, 134.

Octavo (book size 19.3 x 13.5 cm), pp. viii 351 [1]. In publisher’s red cloth, spine and front board lettered in gilt and black, illustrated in black and pale green, rear panel with publisher’s logo in black, green leaf pattern endpapers. rebacked retaining original cloth spine.

Collation (11/7/2018) frontis, and plates opposite pages 155, 187, 279,
  Condition: Near fine, light wear to corners, internally clean with the exception of scattered spots, neatly rebacked retaining original cloth spine.   Ref: 109442   Price: HK$ 18,000