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Sprigg, C. St. John [Ed.]. Uncanny Stories.

Sprigg, C. St. John [Ed.]. Uncanny Stories.

Sprigg, C. St. John [Ed.]. Uncanny Stories.

London: Thomas Nelson, 1936.

First edition. Small 8vo. 404pp. Publisher’s pale green cloth titled in gilt, a little rubbed and discoloured here and there, but a tight, handsome copy in, of all things, a dustjacket! Some minor chips and tears to the extremities, but a bright, clean and fresh example. It bears repeating that Nelson Classics are lovely little books, and you don’t see them in dustjackets often enough. This volume, which contains “Green Tea” by Le Fanu, “The Beast With Five Fingers” by Harvey, and “Space” by John Buchan among others, has the additional allure of having been edited by Christopher St. John Sprigg, creator of the Charles Venables murder mysteries, avowed marxist, and fascinated observer of altered states upon human psychology. Had he lived he would most likely have produced a fascinating body of work, but instead he joined the British Battalion of the International Brigade and died at the Battle of Jarama River on February 12th 1937, killed by fascists whilst covering the retreat of his battalion with a machine gun. He was 29 years old. Fighting fascists is a requirement of basic humanity, I get that, but once in a while I’d like it not to involve the deaths of the young and the blisteringly smart, and instead clear out some of the older and more stupid people who repeatedly espouse it.

[Ref: 951]

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