London: Methuen & Co., 1898. First edition, Colonial issue. First edition; Colonial issue, utilizing the first edition sheets with a later, canceled (inserted) title leaf (the first book edition was issued in 1891). Octavo, original dark blue cloth, spine panel lettered in gold, all edges untrimmed, list of "Methuen's Colonial Library" books printed on the endpapers. [296] pp + 40-page publisher's catalogue dated "April, 1898" inserted at rear. Some foxing to endpapers, a very good to near fine copy with a very clean and bright binding. Item #311896

¶ Collection of five tales. The title story concerns an elderly female vampire found inhabiting the bell-tower of an ancient church. MARGERY OF QUETHER was first serialized in CORNHILL MAGAZINE in 1884. Baring-Gould, a scholar of antiquities, was well acquainted with the vampire motif and he makes good use of it here, well before DRACULA (1897). A contemporary review of MARGERY OF QUETHER's appearance in THE CORNHILL appeared in THE SPECTATOR on May 3rd, 1884: "We hardly know in what the power of the little tale consists, unless it is in the realistic simplicity with which the horrible "facts" are related; but there is something about it positively uncanny. There is nothing to revolt at, but one would much rather not have read it." MARGERY OF QUETHER was reprinted by Sarob Press in 1999 in 'MARGERY OF QUETHER AND OTHER WEIRD TALES, edited by Richard Dalby, who wrote in his Introduction: "If Sheridan Le Fanu’s 'Carmilla' was the most celebrated vampire story of the 1870s, ‘Margery of Quether’ was probably the best known and most widely read vampire story in the succeeding decade (thanks to the huge sales of the Cornhill), chronologically lying exactly halfway between Carmilla and Dracula." Indeed, one of the very first reviews of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' mentions the story: "In seeking for a parallel to this weird, powerful, and horrorful story our mind reverts to such tales as “The Mysteries of Udolpho,” “Frankenstein,” “Wuthering Heights,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” and “Margery of Quether.” But “Dracula” is even more appalling in its gloomy fascination than any one of these." (see The Daily Mail, 1 June 1897).

Price: $850.00

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