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Octavo, pp. [1-6] 7- [287-288: blank], original green cloth, spine panel stamped in orange, top edge stained red, bottom edge rough trimmed. First edition. "A novel of utopian and teleological speculation about the evolution of the human species, comparable thematically (though not stylistically) to Stapledon, with the image of the ubermensch flashing through the story. The title refers to two linked sets of antitheses. The first is between the protagonist Stukeley, a common sense country doctor, and Sandraval, an embryologist who gleefully prophesies the failure of mankind and the rise of a new species to replace it. The two are also romantic rivals for the heroine, Mary. The second antithesis is between a weird ape-man, a gypsy's sideshow freak who escapes premature burial and attaches himself to the doctor, and the infant, bastard offspring of Sandraval and Mary, first of the prophesied species. Being caught between the first pair of men is Mary's predicament. Being caught between the second pair is mankind's. These two conflicts intersect violently in the novel's brief but spectacular climax, when Stukeley, called to deliver Mary of her prodigal baby, instantly recognizes it as the prophesied nemesis of mankind and kills it. Stukeley's trial for murder, and the riots that accompany his guilty verdict, his escapes and near-escapes, and his final rescue through the sacrifice of the telepathic ape-man, provide enough action to balance the more introverted currents of the book. The characters seem haunted by strongly felt but dimly understood fates, and by the brooding presence of both the past (symbolized by the ape-man throwback) and the future (the infant superman). The sullen atmosphere, like the period before a storm, also reflects the political condition of Europe in the mid-1930s, alluded to here in muted tones. The other structural metaphor of the book is pregnancy: a sense of being held captive by something heavy and portentous, almost immobilized, until the final agony and release. BETWEEN TWO MEN is an important and overlooked contribution to the British between-the-wars scientific romance." - Robert Eldridge. Locke, A Spectrum of Fantasy Volume II, p. 29 and (III), p. 160 (citing a proof copy with the earlier provisional title, NO STAB CAN KILL). Bleiler (1978), p. 43. Contemporary gift inscription on front pastedown, a fine copy in very good pictorial dust jacket with some dustiness, darkening of spine panel and faint scattered stains. A rare book, the first copy we've seen, with two library holdings in the U.S. and just one in the UK. (#148317). N° de réf. du libraire
Titre : BETWEEN TWO MEN: A NOVEL
Éditeur : Boriswood .
Date d'édition : 1935
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