10. COLLINS, Wilkie (1824-1889).
The Crossed Path; or Basil. A Story of Modern Life. Philadelphia: T.B. Peterson and Brothers, [n.d., 1860]. 12mo. in eights. ( 85 x 120 mm., 7 1/2 x 5 inches) Original dark brown close-bead-grain cloth. Covers decoratively stamped in blind with a triple-rule border enclosing an ornamental panel and, in the center, the publisher's name on an ornament, spine decoratively stamped and lettered in gilt, yellow coated endpapers printed with advertisements. Condition : Small faint dampstain in the lower margin, few additional scattered minor stains, else fine.
scarce pirated version of wilkie collins’s second work of fiction. "There is a hint of crusading fervour in Basil (against drunken nurses and hospital routine), but the motif is not strong enough to class the book as a propaganda novel. The young author (as many both before and since have done) found stimulus for these books in the pathetic figure of the debauched girl; but she receives at his hands treatment little different from that usually given her by serious neophytes, eager to paint her tragic isolation for the improvement of the novel-reading public." First published in London in 1852 in three volumes as Basil: A Story of Modern Life , the first American edition was published in 1853 in one volume. The present copy is the first Peterson pirated edition. (Sadleir, Excursions in Victorian Bibliography, p. 134). Parrish and Miller, pp. 20-21.
est. $500 – £800