The DEAD LETTER [as Serialized in] BEADLE'S MONTHLY, A Magazine of To-Day. Vol. I - III.

New York: Beadle and Company, 1866 - 1867. 1st Beadle publication (Hubin I, p. 672 [showing an 1866 publication date]; Johannsen BEADLE I, pp 150 & 421 & II, pp 279 - 280; Wright II, 2584 [showing an 1867 publication date]). Not in Baird & Greenwood. 3 volumes (576; 560; 576 pp). Victor's work illustrated with 22 cuts. 8vo. 8-3/4" x 5-5/8". Original publisher's black leather spines over black cloth boards, with gilt stamped title lettering to spine. A square & tight VG+ set, showing just minor wear. Item #31014

From the present remove of a century & a quarter, we can now categorically state the January 1866 debut issue of Beadle's Monthly to be a watershed publication in American letters, for it gave wide audience to Mrs Metta V. Victor's ground-breaking piece of literature, The Dead Letter, which we now know has the distinction of being the first detective novel written by a woman.

Steinbrunner & Penzler, ENCYCLOPEDIA Of MYSTERY & DETECTION, state this work is "one of the most important detective novels published in the United States..." And one of the rarest too; despite the fact that, beginning with this appearance, Beadle, from 1866 - 1878, published the title in 4 different series, the work rarely appears on the commercial market. We're pleased to offer it here, in its original, and first, Beadle publication.

Furthermore, these 3 volumes also contain 9 other pieces by Mrs. Victor [one under her pseudonym, Rose Kennedy], including poetry, short -stories & the novel, "Who Was He?". All-in-all, a significant gathering, in one lot, from an important 19th C. American Lady-of-Letters.

NB. There is anecdotal evidence, from the publisher himself [cf. Beadle's Monthly, Feb 1867, p. 195], wherein he states the work "was, in fact, produced two years previous to the issue of our first number. We make this statement to forestall the circulation of such errors as those adverted to..." This 'admission' not withstanding, the actual location of an 1864 edition has proven quite elusive; we find absolutely no modern on-line record documenting the existence of such an edition, and therefore believe that anyone who wants this title for their collection would do well to look to this 1866 publication.

Price: $6,000.00