NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS. Robert Louis Stevenson.


London: Chatto & Windus, Piccadilly, 1882. Octavo, two volumes: pp. [1-12] [1-3] 4-269 [270: blank] [271: publisher's device] [272: blank]; [i-vii] viii [1-3] 4-234 [235: publisher's device] [236: blank] + 32-page publisher's catalogue dated "May, 1882" inserted at rear of volume II, original gray-green pictorial cloth, front panels stamped in brown and black, spine panels stamped in brown, back and gold, rear panels have publisher's device stamped in brown, top edges untrimmed, white endpapers with floral pattern printed in gray. First edition, first printing. 500 copies printed (there was a second printing of 250 copies designated "Second Edition" on the title pages). A key book in the history of the short story and "one of the most famous works in English literature. Who among us, with even a spark of boyhood in his heart, will ever forget 'The Suicide Club' or 'The Pavilion on the Links' ..." - QQ 11. NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS, a collection of short stories first published in magazines between 1877 and 1880, includes Stevenson's first published fiction. Several of the stories are considered to be his best and they are pioneer works in the English short story tradition as well. The first volume collects seven stories in two story cycles, "The Suicide Club" and "The Rajah's Diamond," first published as "Later-day Arabian Nights" in LONDON MAGAZINE from June to October 1878. The second volume collects four stories, "The Pavilion on the Links" (1880), "A Lodging for the Night" (1877), Stevenson's first published fiction, "The Sire De Malétroits Door" (1877), and "Providence and the Guitar" (1878). Arthur Conan Doyle considered "The Pavilion on the Links" to be "the very model of dramatic narrative, the high-water mark of Stevenson's genius and the first short-story in the world." Barry Menikoff considers NEW ARABIAN NIGHTS to be the starting point in the history of the English short story ("Class and Culture in the English Short Story," Journal of the Short Story in English 8 [1987], pp. 125-139). Also see Menikoff, "New Arabian Nights: Stevenson’s Experiment in Fiction," Nineteenth-Century Literature 43 (iii 1990), pp. 339-362. According to Jenni Calder: "the stories rest uneasily in a limbo between fantasy and psychological realism" (RLS: A Life Study. London: Hamish Hamilton, 1980). Stevenson was fond of the book; in 1890 he told an interviewer that it was "the first book that ever returned me anything, and it also established my name." Hubin (1994), p. 771. Queen, The Detective Short Story, p. 102. Beinecke 139. This is the Oliver Brett (Lord Esher) copy with his armorial bookplate affixed to the front paste-down of each volume. The cloth is lightly soiled and there is minor rubbing at the extremities, mainly corner tips. This is a remarkably fine copy of a scarce book seldom found in decent condition. (25365). Item #25365

Price: $3,500.00

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