A mystery solved!
As a species, the dry and dusty bibliography is not generally classed as being among the more exciting of literary genres. They improve on acquaintance and – truth to tell – a good bibliography will often give a more accurate and more reliable picture of an author and his work than most biographies – I suppose Richard Little Purdy’s eminently readable bibliography of Thomas Hardy, which I have just been using, is a case in point.
At the very least, they do – and surprisingly often – come up with something rather startling and inexplicable. I mentioned last week “an absolutely delightful Fin de Siècle novel with an Aubrey Beardsley frontispiece”, bought from Charles Cox in Edinburgh, and hinted at a mystery about to be solved. The book in question has the rather chilling title, “An Evil Motherhood : An Impressionist Novel”, and was published by that great figure in…
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