OUR MANIFOLD NATURE.

London: William Heinemann, 1894. 1st book edition (NCBEL III, 1054; Wolff 2670). Not in Sadleir. INSCRIBED PRESENTATION copy, marked by the author as "Advanced Copy" viii, [2], 271, [5], 20 pp. March 1894 publisher catalogue last 20 pages. Photographic frontispiece. 8vo. 7-3/4" x 5-1/8". Original publisher's olive-green cloth binding with gilt stamping. Slight cock, with modest shelfwear. Bookstore stamp to bottom of front paste-down. Light foxing. Rear hinge starting. A VG copy. Item #36358

Born Frances Elizabeth Bellenden Clarke, the author, at the young age of 16, married a widowed army surgeion, David Chambers McFall, who was already the father to two sons: Chambers Haldane Cooke McFall and Albert William Crawford McFall. With 20+ years age difference between her & her husband, over the ensuing years of marriage, the marital relationship between the two grew apart, with Grand beginning to express her feminist "New Woman" philosophy through the medium of print, publishing her first novel, Ideala, in 1888. Emboldened by her modicum of literary success, two years later Grand divorced her husband, and not too long thereafter assumed the nom-de-plum that we know today, Sarah Grand, under which she wrote her most famous novel, the strongly feminist The Heavenly Twins [1893].

This work of hers here offered is a collection of stories, which Grand, in her preface, terms an "experiment", by which she means varying from the constraining societal conventions on fiction, and which the magazines of the day imposed changes in order to be published. By 1894, riding the phenomenal success of Heavenly Twins, Grand commanded the literary gravitas with Heinemann to see these stories republished, where they "now appear for the first time unmutilated as well as carefully revised."

This copy inscribed by Grand on the half-title page: "To My dear old Boy Chambers / from Sarah Grand [underscore] / 12th March 1894" Toward the bottom of the page, under the printed title, Grand has written: "Advanced Copy".

While the exact identity of the "Chambers" noted in the inscription is now lost to antiquity, we would not deem beyond probability the presentation of this 'Advanced Copy', wherein the new name Sarah Grand is emphasized, to be her either to her son by marriage, Chambers Haldane Cooke McFall [whom is refered to by the ODNB as 'Haldane'], or perhaps to her estranged former husband, David Chambers McFall. However, this, we again note, is speculation on our part, and the true identity of this individual remains a question mark.

Price: $750.00