London: Grant Richards, 48 Leicester Square, W.C., n.d. . First British Edition. Octavo, publisher's original slate grey cloth lettered in gilt on spine, front panel lettered and with an attractive border in pale green. 348 pp, Frontispiece with tissue guard plus 3 additional full-page black & white plates (by Charles Hope Provost) inserted within the text. This UK edition comprises the sheets of the 1902 New York edition with a cancelled title leaf and new binding. A virtually fine copy of a very scarce book. Item #312094
¶ Episodic novel related by a skull, being the narrated confessions of a 17th Century ne'er-do-well who confesses to a series of crimes after being arrested for treason. The stories are over-the-top in the style of Baron Munchausen and involve fantastic plots with bizarre supernatural elements, culminating in a full-on description of a Witches' Sabbath attended by many Demons (fully and wonderfully described). Simply put - this is a well-written, amazing and crazy novel. The copy listed in George Locke's A SPECTRUM OF FANTASY Vol III is mis-described, George only found a copy of this book late in his career and he had quite obviously not read it at the time of publishing his bibliography. This UK edition is rare, Grant Richards likely did not distribute very many copies under their imprint. Jokai was Hungary's leading writer in the nineteenth century and many of his short stories show an interest in the macabre and the supernatural. A great book.