JUNOR, CHARLES. - Dead Men's Tales.
Melbourne, George Robertson 1898. Octavo publisher's colour illustrated boards (edges worn). Last leaf, a blank before the endpaper, removed, natural browning of the paper, inner hinges cracked but firm enough; certainly read but still quite a good copy. ¶ First edition, Australian issue; the same sheets were issued by Swan Sonnenschein. A most busy collection of tales with, within very few pages, cannibals, a ghoul in the waterhole, a vampiric leper, a death adder, a husband cuckolded by his unsuspecting companion (puzzling huh?), and a fatal curse laid on the discoverer of the remains of the two protaganists (see cover). On to the second story - and we have photographic safeguards over a bank vault and an hypnotic burglar. Soon we are in the realm of hereditary catalepsy leading to premature burial; horrors in the tomb; a murderous husband who takes a razor to himself to prevent his dead wife meeting her suitor in the hereafter; the inadvisability of women lion tamers; Queen Victoria astral travelling to Melbourne; an Afghani ghost attending a picnic; a machine that will "read the last thoughts of a dead man's brain" ... but I give too much away. An early reader has, in a tiny neat hand, deemed a trip between the Victorian and the Queensland borders in 24 hours as absurd. The rest passes without comment. The Australian Town and Country Journal's review probably sums up the book best: "irredemiably gruesome ... ghastly in their grim and merciless realism and ... so improbable that one is tempted to resort to the White Queen's recipe for believing impossible thlngs". Here's an easy to believe lesson for us all from Junor: "The sudden shock to my system, caused by total abstinence, effected so seriously a decline in my physical health that my mental faculties seemed unstrung, and my intellect dislocated."AUD 1200.00 [Appr.: EURO 848.5 US$ 917.07 | £UK 739.75 | JP¥ 101915] Book number 9566
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