New Arabian Nights

Robert Louis STEVENSON

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Item#: 123382 price:$6,200.00

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"WATCH FOR THE ACE OF SPADES, WHICH IS THE SIGN OF DEATH, AND THE ACE OF CLUBS, WHICH DESIGNATES THE OFFICIAL OF THE NIGHT": BEAUTIFUL FIRST EDITION OF ROBERT LOUIS STEVENSON'S NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS, 1882

STEVENSON, Robert Louis. New Arabian Nights. London: Chatto & Windus, 1882. Two volumes. Octavo, original pictorial green cloth, patterned endpapers. Housed in a custom cloth clamshell boxes. $6200.

First edition of this essential work in the history of the short story, in handsome publisher's binding. An unusually lovely copy.

New Arabian Nights collects short stories first published in magazines by Stevenson between 1877 and 1880—including Stevenson's first published fiction. A "set of fantastic modern tales… conceived in a very spirited and entertaining vein of the realistic-unreal" (DNB). While they were an early effort, several of the stories are nevertheless considered to be his best and remain highly influential. Indeed, even Stevenson recognized the value of these early stories. In 1890, he told an interviewer that it was "the first book that ever returned me anything, and it also established my name." "The stories rest uneasily in a limbo between fantasy and psychological realism" (Calder, RLS: A Life Study). The first volume includes seven stories in two story cycles entitled, "The Suicide Club" and "The Rajah's Diamond," first published as "Later-day Arabian Nights" in London Magazine between June and October 1878. The second volume comprises four stories including "The Pavilion on the Links," (1880); "A Lodging for the Night" (1877); "The Sire De Maletroits Door" (1877, Stevenson's first published work of fiction); and "Providence and the Guitar" (1878). Arthur Conan Doyle considered "The Pavilion on the Links" to be "the very model of dramatic narrative, the high-water mark of Stevenson's genius and the first short-story in the world." In Journal of the Short Story in English, Barry Menikoff wrote that New Arabian Nights should be a considered the starting point in the history of the short story. With 32-page publisher's catalog dated "May, 1882" at the rear of Volume II. Prideaux 8. Beinecke 139. Queen, 102. Armorial bookplates of Oliver Brett, 3rd Viscount Esher, who began his career as a liberal politician before eventually becoming chairman of the general purposes committee of the National Trust for 25 years, and of its historical buildings committee from its inception in 1934. Viscount Esher was also enthusiastic about the arts and his patronage was crucial to a number of organizations including the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the London Museum, the Historic Churches Trust, and the Old Vic. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. The 3rd Viscount's father, Reginald Brett, was a great fan of Robert Louis Stevenson and even has a poem of Stevenson's etched onto his mausoleum at Callander, Scotland. Tiny binder tickets.

Only a few spots to text, a couple tiny spots of soiling to generally lovely cloth, slight rubbing to extremities. An unusually beautiful copy of a book rarely found in collectible condition.

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