London: The Pegana Press, 1911. Second Edition. Octavo. Quarter linen over gray boards stamped in black with title and drummer illustration on front cover, titles on spine. 94 pages. Eight Photogravures by Sidney H. Sime. Bookplate of "William Roughead W.S." on front pastedown and a 5-page holograph letter signed from Lord Dunsany to Roughead tipped onto the front free endpaper. The letter is on "Kildare Street Club, Dublin" printed letter-head, is dated "Jan: 31." and is written in Dunsany's unique style with a quill pen. Dunsany thanks Roughead "Ever so many thanks for so kindly sending me your book... and then voices his opinions on crime: "My sympathies are always with the prisoner when he's caught, though inconsistently. I always wish that they would catch a lot more; all the tradesmen for instance, especially those that advertise, while any baker, milkman or brewer should be imprisoned for life unless he could actually prove that he had never caused more than say a dozen deaths to children or ailing people by the use of alum (in the case of the baker), borax if a milkman, or sulphuric acid if a brewer. When they were all in prison they would for the first time have my sympathy, for what it's worth. I have been writing a few more stories and am sending one of them to the Saturday Review.... Dunsany. " William Roughead was a famous Scottish lawyer and writer, who dedicated his Trial of Mary Blandy (William Hodge, 1914) to Lord Dunsany. It is likely that Dunsany was writing to Roughead in response to receiving a copy of this title. A fine, bright, clean copy with none of the browning and foxing that usually accompanies copies of this book; superior condition overall. Item #313187
¶ The author's first book, originally issued by Elkin Matthews in 1905. This is the second printing, issued by Elkin Matthews under the Dunsanian imprint of "Pegana Press' in 1911 at the height of Dunsany's popularity. The book is remarkably scarce, highly desirable and this is quite a special copy. Joshi & Schweitzer 1A.1.a.2.