First edition, first printing published in 1948 by Constable, London. 162pp, Vg, Original pale blue cloth with black titles to the spine. Light rubbing to corners and spine tips, light foxing to the text block, uniform toning to the pages which are very clean and tightly bound. It's a slender, cheaply produced title which usually suffers badly, this is a descent example. Wrapper, Good. The hinges are thinning slightly with light wear along the lengths. Small loss to the spine tips, a 1cm area of loss at the bottom of the spine, chips to hinge corners, some foxing and one or two closed tears. Unclipped price of 8/6 net . It presents better than it sounds, I'm being thorough. Eerie wrapper designed by Joanna Dowling.
'Sleep No More' is one of my very favourite collections. Rolt was close friends of fellow Ghost Story writer Robert Aickman, who is rightly being hailed now as one the the true masters of the genre, whereas Rolt's collection is woefully neglected. The verso of the jacket puts it well, "He reminds me of half-a-dozen famous writers, yet remians himself. Now M R James, now Arthur Machen, now William Hope Hodgson and 'The Whistling Room-but all the time Rolt." Rolt's tales take place against the backdrop of rural industry he was so familar with, coal mines, railways, blast furnaces and foundrys. Many of his stories predate what has become known as 'folk horror', his story 'Cwm Garon' set in the Welsh Valleys is, I believe as frightening and eerie as anything written by Arthur Machen. It's a stunning collection and a rare volume which has undergone a number of re-issues since Rolt wrote this letter lamenting poor sales. Susan Hill has wrote an excellent introduction to a recent paperback edition.