The Weird o'it by Clive Pemberton. First Edition, first printing published in 1906 by Henry J Drane, London. 279pp; Good. Original first state binding of red cloth with gilt stamped titles and black floral designs to the upper board. Two other variants exist, one identical to this binding but in green cloth and then another issued in Drane's cheap pasteboard (usually used for leftover copies). The corners are rubbed as are the spine tips, the cloth is lightly soiled and has some light marks and small stains, the gilt titles have dulled but still clearly visible. Moderate foxing throughout, binding has sprung at the hinge of p112-113 and areas of the webbing are visible along the rear hinge, the binding is strong and holding well throughout. A couple of small corner creases to the odd page. Drane printed very cheaply indeed hence there being so few survivors of their books in general, and when they do appear they are usually rather worse for wear.
The Weird o'it is of legendary scarcity and without doubt one of the rarest and most highly prized titles for collectors of this ellusive genre. It is very likely that this collection was partially subsidised by the author and despite there being so few copies printed (it has been speculated only 350 copies were printed) three variants of the book are known of (the economical Drane were happy to use whatever they had lying around to bind their books).
An important, early forerunner in the Weird Fiction genre 'The Weird o'it' contains ten short stories, which include 'The Spider', 'The Pool', 'The Will of Luke Carlowe', 'The Soul of Nina Ventrix', 'The Bulb' and 'Purple Eyes'. Terrifying, grotesque horror abounds, re-animated corpses, vengeance from beyond the grave, possession, Mummy Curses and of course there is 'The Spider' but all is handled deftly by Pemberton's lavish, extravagant and elegant style. This is without a doubt one of those books I genuinely may never hold in my hands again, a genuine genre grail.