Atherton, Gertrude. The Splendid Idle Forties
Stories of Old California.
London: Macmillan, 1902.
First UK edition. 8vo. 389pp. Publisher’s heavily decorated ribbed red cloth lavishly decorated in blue, black, white and gilt to spine and front board. Minor rubbing and edgewear, bumping to spine ends, a very good bright, strong copy. Internally clean, page 173 with a triangular tear, unsightly but with no loss to the text. From the collection of Richard Dalby with his usual accompanying notes. Laid in is a rather splendid 2 page letter from Gertrude Atherton, sent from Havana, detailing the publishing evolution of this book from her earlier collection “Before the Gringo Came”, and speculating on the possibility of it being published by John Lane.
"Gertrude Atherton, who also wrote under the names Asmodeus and Frank Lin, produced thirty-four novels, seven short fiction collections, six history-based books and essays, and many newspaper and magazine articles on feminism, politics, war, and other contemporary issues. By fictitionally portraying the "new woman" at the threshold of the twentieth century, she highlighted the psychological problems facing women in changing societies in both America and Europe. Atherton's work concerns subjects similar to those of authors such as Mary Wilkins Freeman, Edith Wharton, Ellen Glasgow, and Willa Cather, although her work is richer in variety of theme and background" [by Elaine Oswald, American National Biography]. Scarce and ever so good.