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SMITH, JAMES & JOHN WREN SUTTON. - The Secret of the Sphinx or, the Ring of Moses.

London, Philip Wellby 1906. Octavo publisher's cloth blocked in black (a repair to the front hinge). Used but still a very acceptable copy. ¶ A later issue of the only edition of this still rare Australian occult fantasy in a Rider binding; Rider took over Welby in 1908. I think this is the only novel by the journalist and Melbourne cultural luminary Smith and the only publication I can find with Sutton's name attached. Sutton was a medium, a self described "magnetopath" in one news item I found. A John Wren Sutton, sculptor, appears in more papers, including being named as co-respondent in a 1908 "painful" divorce case, and the kind note sculptor Sutton received in Smith's 'Cyclopedia of Victoria' leads me to designate them the same person. The book received fair coverage, as far as reviews are concerned, largely on the strength of Smith's prominence and one notice claimed this as the first of a projected trilogy. Perhaps public indifference put paid to that scheme, perhaps it was the painful divorce case. Trove now finds three copies of this in Australian libraries and Worldcat adds not many more outside the deposit libraries of Britain.
AUD 600.00 [Appr.: EURO 390.75 US$ 459.02 | £UK 344.75 | JP¥ 51688] Book number 9228

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