First edition, second printing (undated) published in 1888 by F V White & Co, London

Condition: Vg, 306pp. Publisher's scarlet red cloth with black stamped titles and ruled lines, blind-stamped floral devices, gilt stamped titles to the spine. Corners are rubbed, with light pushing to the spine tips, the spine has dulled/faded a shade, text is still clearly visible. Boards are still bright and rather fresh. Author's device to the lower board 'FW'.  Pages are tightly bound and clean, no inscriptions. 

 

* Gothic romance of sorts set in London's West End and the Scottish countryside around Dundee. Tells the story of a love triangle between a severely disfigured man, a woman Babiole, who is referred to as 'The Witch' and a decadent artist  Fabian Scott. The novel hints at the healing sanctuary of the countryside to shunned outsiders such as a witch and a deformed man who now wears a look of 'villany and evil' horrifying all who lay eyes upon him, the witch seems to physically re-generate when she returns to the countryside, the flush returning to her cheeks unlike the Poe-esque, emaciated figure she becomes in London. This is played off against the scenes of Fin de si London, with Dorian Gray inspired musings on the life of the tortured artist, private clubs, even the mention of debauched orgies (alas, the author doesn't elaborate.) 

Much atmospheric desription and eerie suggestion, with references to Sleepy Hollow, Jane Eyre and Walpurgisnacht, Warden even throws in an escaped lunatic mumbling 'he's returned', but all this amounts to nothing I could describe as a 'supernatural scene'. It reads like a rambling attempt at a sort of Jane Eyre, constantly dangling the carrot of something dark and fierce that never quite sparks anything. 

A Witch of the Hills by Florence Warden

£150.00Price