London: Leadenhall Press, 1893. First edition of a scarce piece of Victorian fiction. The American edition, published the same year, is fairly common, but there is no copy of this, the true first, in MELVYL. OCLC lists nine copies, most in Canada. Spine faded. Very good. Original gray cloth with front cover and spine stamped in black. Octavo. xi, , 194, , [16, ads] pp. Text illustrations. Item #7736
Charles Grant Allen (1848-1899) was born in Alwington, near Kingston, in Canada. He received his B.A. from Merton College, Oxford, and became professor of mental and moral philosophy in college at Spanish Town, Jamaica, for the education of Negroes (1873-6). He returned to England in 1876 and adopted literature as his profession. He wrote a number of books on popular science, then turned to novel writing, producing some thirty works of fiction. Amongst them is Tendenz-Roman (1895), a novel protesting the subjection of women; and An African Millionaire: Episodes in the Life of the Illustrious Colonel Clay, “the first important rogue in short crime fiction who is the hero, not a subsidiary character, villain or anti-hero” (Steinbrunner and Penzler, Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection). His last novel, Hilda Wade, which was left unfinished at his death, was completed by A. Conan Doyle.
NCBEL III, 1033 (giving the title as Michael’s Cray).