New York: Oxford University Press, American Branch, 1927. First Edition. Scarce anthology of mystery stories compiled by Wells (1862-1942), collecting works by Poe, Hawthorne, Bierce, Dreiser, Moffett, and others. Of particular note is Wells's inclusion of Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wall-Paper, a key work of feminist literature, first published in the January, 1892 issue of New England Magazine. The story is narrated through a series of journal entries written by a woman whose physician husband has forbidden her from working as a form of treatment after the birth of their child, so she can recuperate from what he calls "a temporary nervous depression - a slight hysterical tendency." The barred windows in her room in their summer mansion, coupled with her husband's restrictions, contribute to the deterioration of her mental health and her slow descent into psychosis. Gilman, who frequently used her writing to explore the role of women in America at the time, portrays her narrator's descent into madness as a way to protest the male-dominated medical profession's oppression of women. While the story has been claimed variously as a cornerstone work of feminist literature, and as a work of psychological horror, its inclusion here, among such august company, is the first time it has been contextualized as a part of the mystery genre. Not in HUBIN. SCHARNHORST 505; cf.WRIGHT 2177; BLEILER (1972 ed.), p.258. Item #4186
New York: Oxford University Press, American Branch, 1927. First Edition. Octavo (18.5cm); black cloth, with titles stamped in green on spine and front cover; dustjacket; xii,232,pp. Subtle offsetting from flaps onto pastedowns, sprinkle of foxing to upper edge of textblock, else clean internally; very Near Fine. Dustjacket is spine-sunned, showing modest wear to joints and flap folds, a short split along lower front joint, and a horizontal tear across upper spine panel; Very Good. .