Shadows of Flames. NARCOTICS IN FICTION - WOMEN AUTHORS, Amélie RIVES, Princess Troubetzkoy.

Shadows of Flames

New York: Frederick A. Stokes Company, 1915. First Edition. First printing, with publisher's logo and "September, 1915" printed at foot of copyright page. A square, tight copy, Near Fine, in the exceedingly uncommon pictorial dustwrapper, quite fresh and clean with just a hint of erosion at base of front panel and flap-fold; Very Good. Ownership signature and stamp of an "Elizabeth D. Lair" to front pastedown.

Rives, descended from an aristocratic Virginia family, achieved prominence and some notoriety with her first book, The Quick or the Dead? (1885), but by the turn of the century had become badly addicted to morphine, the result of a doctor's ill-informed treatment for rheumatic fever. The ordeal of her addiction, withdrawal, and recovery provide the background for the current work, which has been described by Lloyd C. Taylor as "one of the first realistic accounts of drug addiction in American literature" ( Notable American Women, III:170). Taylor is not entirely accurate on this point – the Chicago yellowback author Shang Andrews (for one) offered unvarnished, if somewhat sensational, depictions of morphine addiction in such much earlier works as Chicago After Dark (1882) and Cranky Ann, the Street Walker (1878) – but we cannot identify any earlier such work by a woman author. Extremely uncommon in dustwrapper; this an especially attractive copy.

Price: $750.00

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