Boston: The Mutual Book Company, . First Edition, First Impression. Hardcover. Octavo, original publisher's pictorial red cloth blocked in black & gilt, gilt titles on spine, top edges gilt. 173 pp., frontispiece with tissue guard and 5 additional plates by Owen inserted in the text, decorations (mostly initial letters) throughout by BIRD. Spine panel just a touch faded and with two small spots, very slight dust soiling to covers; a very attractive copy; Very Good overall. Very Good. Item #311610
¶ Collects 15 stories, mostly weird and supernatural, but including 'The Space Annihilator', which is Science Fiction. " The origin of the Welsh Rarebit Tales was as follows: A certain
literary club, of which I am a member, is accustomed to hold semi-occasional meetings at some of the uptown hotels. At the close of the dinner each of the fifteen members is permitted to read to the others what he considers his most acute spasm since the previous meeting. The good and bad points of the manuscript are then discussed, and we believe that much mutual benefit is thereby derived. Having run short of first-class plots, the club at a recent meeting decided to try a gastro-literary experiment. Knowing the effect upon the digestive and cerebral organs of indulging in concentrated food before retiring, we each and every one partook, just before adjourning, of the following combination:--
1 Large Portion Welsh Rarebit,
1 Broiled Live Lobster,
2 Pieces Home Made Mince Pie,
1 Portion Cucumber Salad.
At the second meeting of the club (the next meeting, by the way, had to be postponed on account of illness of fourteen of the members) the accompanying tales were related. Partly as a warning to injudicious diners, we decided to publish the result of our experiment, hoping that all who read this book, and see the nightmares which were produced, will be warned never to try a similar feat (or eat)." - from the PREFACE. See Bleiler, The Guide to Supernatural Fiction (1983), item 459.