Saltus, Edgar. The Truth About Tristram Varick.

London: Henry J. Drane, [1889].

8vo. First Drane edition, published in the same year as the Routledge edition. Original publisher’s wraps, minor edgewear and fading here and there, some cracking and flaking to spine panel, strong, solid and handsome, an astonishingly brave effort to get all the way here from 1889 without succumbing. Internally clean and fresh. Ads to inside of wraps and rear panel, including one for Bella-Demonia by Selina Dolaro (apparently at least partly ghost written by her lover, the rather hectic Edward Heron-Allen), Lovell Library editions seem to have been a kind of Drane “Decadence for a shilling” series, publishing people of great ability, soaring imagination and a tendency to use the word “lush” more than one would normally. Saltus is exactly one of those; a searingly good writer, not afraid of an unpopular opinion, deeply dark, in fact, so dark that on occasion he makes Andrew Eldritch look like Katy Perry, and with a command of word and form that makes it almost unbelievable he isn’t talked about far more. Required reading for anyone who has ever entertaining the sneaking suspicion that life is meaningless and cruel. Very scarce indeed.

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