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BENSON, Edward Frederic.

The Judgment Books.

London: Osgood, McIlvaine & Co., 1895 Stock Code: 120535
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An uncommon supernatural tale and possible precursor to Dorian Gray

First edition. This supernatural work by Edward Frederic Benson demonstrates his ability as an "important, capable, and skilful Edwardian author of supernatural fiction" (Bleiler). Although best known for the social satires of his Mapp and Lucia novels his "stories of horror and the supernatural have remained consistently popular" (ODNB). This work tells the story of a portrait painter, who, as he paints his sitter finds some of his personality move into the portrait and part of the sitter's personality move to him. The tale is reminiscent of Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray, which was first published in Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, July 1890, and in a substantially revised book form in April 1891. Locke suggests Benson may have originally written this work prior to the release of Dorian Gray, despite the later publication date. This is an uncommon work with seven copies traced institutionally worldwide.

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Octavo. Original blue vertical ribbed-grain cloth, spine lettered in gilt, gilt title vignette to front cover, edges untrimmed.


Spine gently rolled, light fading to spine and front cover, slight wear extremities, a couple of leaves clumsily opened, final leaf unopened, occasional faint foxing; a very good copy.


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