New York: The John Day Company, 1929. First Edition in English. Hardcover. First Edition in English. Large octavo, original black cloth titled and decorated in red and gold, top edges dyed red. Pictorial endpapers. 342 pp. With numerous full-page black & white plates, chapter headings, initial letters, decorated title page, endpapers, binding design and dust jacket, all by Blaine. 3000 copies printed. Light rubbing to gilt on front panel, spine lettering just slightly dull; a very good copy, clean and tight. Near Fine in Dust Jacket. Item #312448
¶ Supernatural horror novel tinged with eroticism and sadism. Alraune is the German word for the Mandrake plant, a plant long considered to have mystical and supernatural properties. Frank Braun and his uncle perform a biological experiment: interbreeding by artificial insemination one of the lowest whores in Berlin with the sperm of a vicious sex murderer. The result is Alraune, a soulless woman who, when mature, displays the lasciviousness of her mother and the bizarre, sadistic cruelty of her father. She brings death and tragedy to almost all who come in contact with her. She becomes lovers with Frank Braun, mingling sex and blood vampirism. She is somehow linked to the mandrake root - the plant which supposedly grows from the ejaculate of hanged murderers. Braun destroys the mandrake root which he possesses and which first suggested the experiment, and she dies.