London; Harrison and Sons. 1899-1900. First Edition. 3 vols. 8vo. Publisher's original maroon cloth titled in gilt. Spines uniformly faded, some light edgewear, bumping and light fraying to spine ends. A very good, handsome and respectable set of a scarce collection of wonderful spine chilling tales and dramas. Recounting the anecdote filled meetings of The Wonder Club at a coaching inn evocatively called "Ye Headless Ladye" the stories have such titles as "The Pigmy Queen" and "Lost in The Catacombs", a frequently rather obscure stew of gothic melodrama, horror and fantasy, not unlike the "Phantasmagoria" of 100 years earlier. The triple decker design of the books is also notable archaic, putting one in mind of a Sheridan Le Fanu first edition from 50 years earlier rather than the type of book design favoured by the end of the 19th century. The eminent scholars and unstoppable researchers at Tartarus Press's Wormwood magazine recently solved the mystery of the identity of "Dryasdust" (itself a reference to Scott's tedious but indispensable scholarly authority) and have laid the responsibility (occasionally blame might be in order) at the feet of Alexander Huth, a British businessman and self publishing author. A handsome set of a scarce and supremely entertaining collection. Item #38339
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