A Curious Matter of Books


While scrolling through the internet in search of new and/or interesting Hodgson tidbits, I stumbled across this picture today:

Now, what makes this picture curious is two things: these are supposedly the copies of WHH volumes owned by author Dennis Wheatley (who did some writing about Hodgson himself) AND these are reported to be first editions.  Now, I have never seen a Hodgson first edition myself.  But what I find curious is the fact that the spines of these books all read “The Works of William Hope Hodgson” with volumes one to nine.  That would include the four novels, CARNACKI, LUCK OF THE STRONG, MEN OF THE DEEP WATERS, CAPTAIN GAULT and possibly a volume of poetry.

What I don’t understand is the label of “The Works of William Hope Hodgson”.  So far as I am aware, the first editions were not labeled as such and the only other set to bear any name like that is the Night Shade editions of recent years.  SO, where did this come from?  Were these possibly first editions that were rebound with the different spines?  Anyone have any light to shed on this bibliographic curiosity?

For those interested, here is a link to the page that the above photo comes from:

http://www.denniswheatley.info/museum/room.asp?id=7&exhib=8

In any event, it is truly a set worth owning!

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3 Comments

Filed under William Hope Hodgson

3 responses to “A Curious Matter of Books

  1. Yup, they’re a set of first editions bound uniformly in white quarter cloth by Wheatley. The binding is odd, but I just lined all mine up and they’re pretty uniform if you leave a lot of space at the spine ends, which the binder obviously did. Blackwell’s originally sold all the Wheatley books in 1979, I’m afraid I can’t remember who sold them more recently. Nigel Burwood of Any Amount of Books would know. He’s handled some of the coolest Hodgson of the last 15 years and is the person responsible for converting me into a serious fan. If you ever need to see any first editions feel free to ask.

  2. Dave Kurzman

    They are Wheatley’s copies rebound. They were for sale a couple of years ago from a dealer in the UK. I can’t remember exactly but the figure 20,000 pounds pops into my mind.
    Wheatley was the original Hodgson booster.

    • Thanks for the info! I thought that it was probably something like that but I always like to be sure first. 20,000 pounds is quite a bit of cash! I think that would probably translate to about $32,000 in US dollars. Which, considering I’ve seen first editions of HOUSE ON THE BORDERLAND listed for about $8,000 probably isn’t all that outrageous.

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