MAYNE REID, Thomas et al. Strange Adventures London: Sampson Low, Martson and Company, 1894.
8vo. Original red cloth, decorated in black and white and gilt to upper cover and spine; pp. [1, frontispiece], [iv], 282; spine a little faded, occasional foxing (esp p.177), plate "free forage" facing page 126 instead of 116, ink inscription to ffep.
A collection of peculiar tales by Thomas Mayne Reid and presumably a number of other unnamed authors. Mayne Reid was an Irish-American novelist who preferred to write colonial romances, occasionally straying into strange tales and horror stories about the nature of slavery. Although Reid called himself and is listed often as Captain, Francis B. Heitman's definitive Historical Register and Dictionary of the U.S. Army only shows him as a lieutenant, which tracks with Edgar Allen Poe's assessment of him - "a colossal but most picturesque liar. He fibs on a surprising scale but with the finish of an artist, and that is why I listen to him attentively". In his time Mayne Reid was a very popular author with young boys, and various biographies have described him as a formative influence in the development of notable figures such as Theodore Roosevelt and Arthur Conan Doyle.