The Lost Traveller

TODD, Ruthven. The Lost Traveller.

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TODD, Ruthven. The Lost Traveller. London: The Grey Walls Press, 1943.

8vo., black publisher's cloth, spine lettered in copper gilt; original unclipped dust jacket with illustration by John Craxton, image echoed as frontis, with one further black and white illustration by Craxton acting as tail piece; pp. 159, [i]; corners and edges a little rubbed; head and foot of spine lightly pushed, some letters to spine a tad rubbed; slight lean; lower hinge a touch tender; internally very clean; jacket with some light spots and a little shelf wear; spine darkened and with some creases and chips to head; still very good.
First edition, signed by the author to the title-page. Published in a limited run, it was not reprinted until 1968.
A relatively undiscovered work by a writer whose primary medium, up until this point, was verse. The story is composed, as is noted in a later edition, by ideas which came to Todd in his dreams, with the plot plunging immediately into the unknown in the first paragraphs of chapter 1, where the protagonist is caught up in an explosion where "the sky had seemed to be flowing from a great open wound, and there had been a cry like that of some unearthly beast". When he awakens, he has been transported to an alternate world, where space and time are fluid constructs, the landscape is dotted with abandoned, lizard-ridden ruins, and the sun, encased in a circular rainbow, never sets.
A surrealistic, obscure novel occupying the genre between fantasy, horror and science fiction.