London: Richard Bentley, 1866. [Strange Tale] New Edition, being the FIRST ONE VOLUME EDITION. Features two engraved illustrations and expanded text). Publisher's ribbed bottle-green cloth, blocked in blind, decorated in gilt to spine, coated brown endpapers. We believe this to be the PRIMARY BINDING, having previously catalogued a variant (cheaper) publisher's brown cloth binding with plain white endpapers). A little spotting / toning within, some soiling/discolouration to boards and titles to spine, old internal cloth joint repair, rear endpapers pasted together. A scarce and important edition; no other copy in publisher's cloth is offered for sale at the time of writing. Part mystery, part history, The House by the Churchyard begins with a prologue in the voice of an old man, Charles de Cresseron, that is set in Chapelizod, Ireland, roughly a century after the events of the novel proper. This prologue details how, during an interment at the churchyard of the title, a skull is accidentally unearthed, which bears the marks of two crushing blows to the head and – even more disconcertingly – a small hole from a trepanning. The novel itself is Cresseron's reconstruction of the history related to this grisly item. Apart from the fact that as a novel it is charming, funny and sinister by turns, it is also described as a key source for Joyce's Finnegan's Wake. Item #57159
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