London, Methuen. 1894. First Edition, First Issue. 8vo. 301pp + 32pp ads dated October 1894. Publisher's olive green cloth titled in gilt to spine and front boards. Bumped to frayed spine ends with some scuffing and light wear to extremities and with trifling wear. A very good, clean copy. Edges untrimmed, very light sporadic spotting. Inscribed by Morrison to front flyleaf to none other than Herbert Greenhough Smith; editor of the mighty Strand magazine and one of Morrison's first and most important literary patrons. Inscribed copies of Morrsion's more important works can be difficult to find, he tended towards reclusiveness and had the reputation of being respected rather than loved by his contemporaries, to find a copy inscribed to someone as significant in Morrison's life as Herbert G. Smith is indeed remarkable. A splendid object. Published a couple of years before 'A Child of The Jago' this book is part of Morrison's 'slums of London' cycle that ends with 'The Hole In The Wall' in 1902. With his gritty depictions of the moral and social compromises necessary for survival in such dreadful places, and his unwillingness to take a critical stance regarding his characters and their predicament, Morrison stands out as far superior to the standard crop of God-bothering 'urban reform through fiction' mongers that the late Victorian age spewed forth in their dozens. An interesting copy of a scarce and admirable book. Item #33581
Eric Quayle; Detective Fiction.