The Mystery of the Sea.London, William Heinemann, 1902 Stock Code: 125940
NotesFirst UK edition, first impression. Presentation copy from the author, inscribed on the front free endpaper in the month of publication: "John Northcott from Bram Stoker, 17.7.02". An appealing provenance: John Northcott (d. 1905) was the highly regarded music and drama critic for The Daily Chronicle, described by a contemporary as "one of the most sound critics of that time" (Major Fitzroy Gardner, More Reminiscences of an Old Bohemian, 1926, p. 111) and by The Musical Times as "much respected and honest" (Vol. 46, 1905, p. 545). He also appears in Stoker's memoir of Sir Henry Irving, listed among the guests at one of the many celebratory banquets thrown in Irving's honour (see Personal Reminiscences of Henry Irving, 1906, p. 317). The Green Room Book for 1906 also notes that he was "one of the original members" of the Savage Club, of which Irving was a founder member and first treasurer; Stoker himself is noted as having been present at Savage Club dinners.
The Mystery of the Sea was originally published in the US earlier in the same year. Dalby describes it as an "ingenious romantic novel set in Cruden Bay Aberdeenshire, involving a gun battle at sea, a castle with secret passages, and coded writing based on a cipher described by Francis Bacon".
Octavo. Original black cloth, spine and front cover lettered in gilt, decoration to front cover in green and gilt, publisher's device to rear cover in blind.
Partially erased pencil ownership inscription to front free endpaper. Spine gently rolled, extremities a little rubbed, front hinge cracked but holding, light foxing to endpapers. A very good, uncommonly bright copy, entirely unrestored.
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