WALPOLE, Hugh. All Souls' Night. Macmillan, London, 1933.
8vo. Original green cloth patterned in blind to upper cover, gilt title to spine, with printed grey dust wrapper; pp. [x], 369, , [2, ads]; a very good copy of a scarce book, rare in the wrapper, some slight fading to dust jacket in places, not price-clipped, internally bright, contemporary clipped newspaper review for All Souls' night pasted to front pastedown endpaper.
First edition. A collection of ghost stories, one of 36 novels Walpole wrote in his lifetime. A bestseller in the early 20th century, Walpole has been largely forgotten since his death despite his temporal success. As a result, many of his books have become scarce, particularly in a collectible condition. All Souls' Night is a group of sinister stories, focusing on the nature of the how the mind responds to stress and mystery.
Biographies published since his death have revealed that Horace pursued a series of gay relationships throughout his life - this was an open secret in his lifetime but not something anyone could speak of openly, as homosexual practices were illegal for men in Britain at the time. Letters from many different sources reflect (usually in bemused good humour) on his turning up to an event late, having dallied with one writer, attendant or another. Good for him.