Aristocracy. A Novel

New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1888. First Edition. A social satire on the English aristocracy, and a profoundly misanthropic work. Perhaps intended as a response to Henry Adams' Democracy, which had been published eight years earlier. Features as a protagonist a young "...American from San Francisco, the only son of a millionaire, who ... serves as the mouthpiece for all the American sentiment and criticism and as the object of the insults of the 'aristocracy'...'' (from the reviewer's summary in Bowker's Annual American Catalogue for 1888). Negley lists the title as a utopia, though a perusal of the contents by this cataloguer reveals no obvious utopian elements. Published anonymously by one Joseph A. Nimes, whose name apparently does not appear as an author on any other work, fictional or otherwise (per NUC, OCLC and Wright). Nimes' desire for anonymity may have been the result of the quality of his writing, which is not high; or, more likely, a desire to avoid offending acquaintances, as the Bowker reviewer adds that "...the people introduced are in many cases easily recognized under a thin disguise of fictitious names...there is no redeemable character among them, all being hopelessley wicked or stupid, or brutal, or all three together." WRIGHT III:126. NEGLEY 848. Wrappered issue (issued simultaneously in cloth, in the publisher's "Town and Country Library" series). Small octavo. Salmon thick-paper wrappers, printed in black; 257,[3]pp. Minor external wear; faint marginal damp-mark to upper corner of last two leaves (away from text); a Very Good or better copy in the original printed wrappers. Final two pages are ads.

Price: $200.00

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