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The Big Bow Mystery.

London, Henry & Co., 1892 Stock Code: 106149
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First edition, presentation copy inscribed on a preliminary blank:"From the author and publishers' with compls" (just slightly shaved by the binder), perhaps presented to the Gainsboro' & District Liberal Club, with their library label to front pastedown and first blank, library accession stamp on rear free endpaper (dated 4 March 1893). A Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone, originally serialised in the London radical daily the Star from 22 August to 4 September 1891, The Big Bow Mystery was Zangwill's "formative contribution to the 'locked-room' detective story genre... and gave Zangwill a readership among the non-Jewish working class, and showed his adeptness at exploiting the journalistic staples of police interview and inquest that excited interest in the crime report pages of newspapers in the 1880s and 1890s. In the era of the Jack the Ripper killings and suspicions of Jewish involvement in those and other violent crimes, Zangwill's novel with its murderous detective, George Grodman ('upright man' in Yiddish), was a daring move. The Big Bow Mystery was embraced by the public and appeared in book form almost immediately following its serialisation. It went into several editions... and inspired three different feature films in the twentieth century" (Meri-Jane Rochelson, A Jew in the Public Arena: The Career of Israel Zangwill, 2008, pp. 48-49).

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Octavo. Contemporary brown fine-diaper library cloth, titles to spine gilt.


Spine cocked, pale mark where label removed, slight wear to spine ends and corners, occasional ink staining and general signs of handling to text block. A good copy with the terminal advertisement leaf, the condition commensurate with a well read library copy.


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