The Martian

DU MAURIER, George. The Martian.

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DU MAURIER, George. The Martian. Harper & Brothers. 1898.

4to. Original vellum-backed light green cloth, gilt lettering to spine ; pp. viii + [ii] + 471, frontispiece portrait of the author, 48 illustrations by the author, 6 facsimiles of pencil studies; small bump to head of spine, previous owner's bookplate to front pastedown, very good.
Large paper edition, number 183 of limited edition of 250. 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.