Dark Masquerade: A Startling Novel of Love, Crime, and Redemption by an Illustrious Anonymnous Author.
New York, Green Circle Books, 1936. First Edition with the Green Circle colophon on the title page; and with the 1936 copyright and no subsequent printings. Handsomely bound in finely woven red cloth stamped brightly in black on the front boards and on the spine. A very good copy with a name in ink on the front endpaper and a printed penciled address on the rear endpaper. The book is solid, the hinges tight. In a very good plus dust jacket printed in red, black and yellow. With the original price of $2.00 at the top of the inside front flap. Some rubbing to the top of the spine ends and a little chipping and a small tear at the bottom of the spine ends. With wear and rubbing at the corners and two small closed tears taped on the verso of the rear panel at the bottom edges of the jacket. Unaccountably scarce in the original dust jacket. "For years Hamilton Burton, prominent criminal attorney, well versed in the art of fixing juries, had one great ambition: he wanted to be accepted socially as a gentleman. The way seemed paved when he met and fell in love with Betty Allison, a debutante. Two brothers, Butch and Larry McCage, gangsters and Burton's clients, proved to be his Waterloo after Butch was given a long prison sentence and Larry was convicted of a murder which he didn't commit.An avalanche of masterfully portrayed incidents including a jail-break and the appearance of a mysterious nun on an ocean voyage, which also included Burton, Betty and Jimmy, lead up to a whirlwind finish. Mrs. H.H. Harris and Edward Doherty are the "Illustrious Anonymous Author" of Dark Masquerade: Edward "Eddie" J. Doherty (1890-1975) was a journalist ("The Star Reporter of America"), novelist (The Broadway Murders: A Night Club Mystery, NY: New York Crime Club/Doubleday, 1929), and Hollywood writer best known for his screenplay, The Sullivans, which was nominated for 1944's Best Original Story OscarôAcademy Award. A Catholic, he became an ordained priest at age seventy-eight. It is unknown whether a mysterious nun on an ocean voyage was his muse. Virginia Stallard Harris was the wife of successful Fifth Avenue perfumer and Broadway investor, Herbert H. Harris (1898-1949), whose main claim to theater fame was that Arthur Miller's All My Sons (1947) was "Produced in Association With Herbert H. Harris," i.e. he was the play's financial angel. Dark Masquerade was, apparently, Mrs. Harris' one and only writing credit; I've found no records for her under her name or in variations. She is, however, to the best of my research, the only writer in the English language to ever be formally credited as "An Illustrious Anonymous Author," and so enters literary history as an illustrious anonymous footnote. (Stephen Gertz “Booktryst” Jan. 3, 2012.).
Brainerd F. Phillipson, Rare BooksProfessional seller
Book number: B247
USD 350.00 [Appr.: EURO 315.75 | £UK 288.25 | JP¥ 37229]