KAFKA, Franz The Trial. London: Victor Gollancz Ltd., 1937.
8vo., original publisher's blue cloth boards, lettered in blue to spine; pp. 285, [iii]; lacking the exceeding rare jacket; small nick to head of spine; edges and prelims with a few spots; last endpaper with some scribbled pen impressions to paper; a very good copy otherwise.
First English Edition, translated by Willa and Edwin Muir.
The Trial was written between 1914 and 1915, and first published posthumously in 1925. Revolving around the plight of a man arrested for a crime which is never revealed to himself, or the reader, the plot is strongly influenced by the likes of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. It became one of his best known works, although it very nearly never came to fruition. Kafka had directed his friend and literary executor Max Brod to destroy the manuscript but instead, he had it translated and published ten years after the writer's death.
It is estimated (in Sheila Hodges' history of the firm of Gollancz) that only about 1,000 copies of the first edition were sold, many of those to circulating libraries. Despite lacking the jacket, scarce thus.