"RACKHAM WAS BEGINNING TO FRIGHTEN HIMSELF"
(RACKHAM, Arthur) POE, Edgar Allan. Tales of Mystery & Imagination by Edgar Allan Poe, Illustrated by Arthur Rackham. London: George G. Harrap, (1935). Quarto, original full vellum with gilt-pictorial decorations on cover and spine, pictorial endpapers, top edge gilt, uncut. $5000.
First edition, number 14 of only 460 copies signed by Rackham, illustrated with 12 mounted full-page color plates, 17 full-page black-and-white drawings and pictorial black-and-white endpapers, all by Rackham. A lovely copy.
Rackham reflected late Victorian psychological insights in his dramatic illustrations for 25 of Poe's most haunting tales, among them "The Tell-Tale Heart," "The Pit and the Pendulum," "The Masque of the Red Death," "The Fall of the House of Usher" and "The Murders in the Rue Morgue." The artist "produced threatening images both of the grotesque and of enchanting beauty" (Leslie Atzmon). According to a friend, the artist referred to these illustrations as so full of horror "he was beginning to frighten himself" (Carpenter & Prichard, 439). Without scarce original glassine and slipcase. Latimore & Haskell, 72. Riall, 189.
Interior clean and fine; minor toning to vellum. A lovely, near-fine copy.