London and New York: Harper, 1901. First Edition. Hardcover. 1st edition of this group of stories, including the 3 tales that comprised the whole of the American edition (The Monster, The Blue Hotel, and His New Mittens), and adding 4 more (Twelve O’clock, Moonlight on the Snow, Manacled, and An Illusion in Red and White) that were not in the American edition. Fine in a very good dustjacket (ads on the back panel confirm it as the correct jacket) with light edgewear and a horizontal tear at the top of the spine neatly strengthened, but pretty, and integral, and a great rarity. RBH list only one copy in jacket sold at auction and that was 82 years ago. Fine. Item #918
Short stories by a virtuoso, writing at the pivot between the American short fiction masters before him (Irving, Hawthorne, Poe, Melville, and Twain) and laying the ground for his own generation (Bierce, and O. Henry), and the one that followed (Cather, Fitzgerald, and Hemingway).
The Monster is set in fictional Whilomville, New York. It tells the story of Henry Johnson, a Black man, who is coachman to the town’s White physician, Dr. Trescott. Henry rescues the doctor’s son from a fire horribly disfiguring Henry’s face. The townsfolk brand him a monster and when Dr. Trescott shelters and cares for Henry, the town’s residents turn against the doctor and his family, excluding them from the community. Albert Band wrote and directed the 1959 film, Face of Fire, but he lost his nerve and cast Johnson as a White man.