Prince Zaleski


SHIEL, M. P. Prince Zaleski

John Lane, 1895.

First edition. Original publisher's purple cloth with gilt titles to the spine and white printed design by Aubrey Beardsley to covers. Inscribed by the author at length to the front end paper, "A trinity here: the first about a father, the second about a son, or scion, the third about a ghostly hole; yet as the Athanasian creed says, "there are not three omniscients, but one omniscient," who, lying on a couch, argues, seeing through walls. But there is no detective but the detective and father of detectives, the "Dupin" of Poe, of whom this Zaleski is a legitimate son, and the notorious Holmes a bastard son. 1924 M.P. Shiel" A very good copy, faded to the spine and a little worn at the edges. Internally fresh with the occasional leaf carelessly opened.

The author's first book, a collection of three connected crime stories, all featuring the eponymous detective and showing clear influences of Poe and Doyle, as the author obliquely refers in his inscription. Although Shiel was to write only one further Zaleski story before turning his hand prolifically to the supernatural, this work is regarded as a classic of the genre and is a Haycraft-Queen cornerstone.
The inscription was solicited, probably by Leonard Shrubsall, in 1924 with other books by Shiel, "who equally obviously asked Shiel to make a cogent comment about each one. The collection... was bought by Otto Penzler of New York, who sold most of them to Vernon Lay who, in turn, sold them to a number of people." (George Locke - A Spectrum of Fantasy)

PROVENANCE: Leonard James Shrubsall (1879-1952, book collector, bookplate to front pastedown).

Haycraft Queen Cornerstone

Stock ID: 40897


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