Philadelphia: Maxwell, 1799. First Edition. Hardcover. 1st edition. Brown is neglected, in the same way that every dry river gets no thanks for its past, but historically he is an American giant. In Arthur Mervyn he chokes the Gothic novel, taking it out of the castle and on to the streets of Philadelphia during the city’s 1793 Yellow Fever epidemic, but this book is no “ring the doorbell and run.” Leaving little to the reader’s imagination Brown plots his tale with forgery, murder, romance, intrigue, betrayal, theft, and seduction, and if he’d known about murder hornets, he’d have thrown them in too. It’s framed with an introductory section, then the first 3/4ths of it are a backstory, followed by a conclusion. Contemporary full sheep, small chip to the spine’s base, first 2 and last 4 pages tanned else very good, not rebacked or repaired, appealing quality for any American novel even close to this vintage. Scarce. ABPC lists 4 copies (making 5 appearances) at auction since 1975. Ref: B.A.L. 1498. Very good. Item #431
If she trembles in your arms, her lips are on fire, and her breathing is heavy, she’s not in love, you idiot. She has yellow fever.