The Martian

DU MAURIER, George. The Martian.

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DU MAURIER, George. The Martian. London: Harper and Brothers, 1898.

8vo. Original dark blue cloth, titled in gold to spine and upper cover, with gilt image to cover of a man reaching out of a window towards the sky; pp. 472, [4, ads]; small ink inscription to half-title, a little bumping, especially to the bottom edge of spine, a very good copy.
First edition.
A novel styled as a biography, in which the protagonist becomes inhabited by an extra-terrestrial spirit called Martia. Martia helps the man become famous by writing books through him whilst he sleeps, and it is implied in places that these books are successful due to their unconventional ideas on suicide, eugenics and other unpleasant matters of life and death. Though the name The Martian invokes the feel of science fiction, it is actually closer to the Gothic in function, with a relatively quiet plot punctuated by moments of the supernatural.