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CITY OF THE SEA AND OTHER GHOST STORIES by Jerome K. Jerome, Edited, with an Introduction by Jessica Amanda Salmonson. Ashcroft, BC, Canada; Ash-Tree Press; 2008. 1st edition hardcover.

ISBN: 978-1-55310-105-5; xviii + 286pp.

Published March 2008.

JEROME K. JEROME (1859–1927) is chiefly remembered today for his great comic masterpiece Three Men In A Boat (1889), and it will likely come as a surprise to many to learn of his output of weird, macabre, and supernatural stories. These stories demonstrate Jerome's wide-ranging talent, and whilst some of his 'strange' tales are humorous (in particular the Told After Supper stories), others are mystical, and a few are genuinely horrific.

After struggling to establish a writing career, Jerome's major break came when Robert Barr appointed him as editor of The Idler, the magazine whose circulation Jerome described as 'second only to one other English magazine' [The Strand]. Jerome's association with the magazine made him many friends, not least among them Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who wrote of Jerome: 'He was one of the best raconteurs I have ever known . . . an old friend . . . an adventurous soul.'

Jerome, despite being a noted humorist, also had, as Conan Doyle noted, a serious side to his character, and both facets are on display in City of the Sea and Other Ghost Stories. Readers not familiar with Jerome's 'strange' stories will delight in discovering such small masterpieces as 'The New Utopia', 'The Soul of Nicholas Snyders', 'The Dancing Partner', 'The Philosopher's Joke', 'The Passing of the Third Floor Back', 'The Woman of the Saeter', and 'Malvina of Brittany'.

This new Ash-Tree Press edition marks the first occasion on which all of Jerome K. Jerome's 'ghost' stories have been collected in one volume.

CONTENTS: 'Dark Jest: Humour and Horror in the Works of Jerome K. Jerome' by Jessica Amanda Salmonson; TOLD AFTER SUPPER & OTHER FUNNY BONES: Introductory; How the Stories Came to be Told; Teddy Biffles' Story—Johnson and Emily, or The Faithful Ghost; Interlude—The Doctor's Story; Mr Coombes's Story—The Haunted Mill, or The Ruined Home; Interlude; My Uncle's Story—The Ghost of the Blue Chamber; A Personal Explanation; My Own Story; The Materialisation of Charles and Mifanway; Dick Dunkerman's Cat; Whibley's Spirit; A Pathetic Story; The Angel and the Author; The Ghost and the Blind Children; The New Utopia; TALES OF FANTASY AND DREAD: The Soul of Nicholas Snyders, or The Miser of Zandam; The City of the Sea; The Lesson; The Dancing Partner; The Snake; The Skeleton; The Philosopher's Joke; The Passing of the Third Floor Back; The House of the Two Cedars; The Fiddle that Played of Itself; Clocks; Dreams; Silhouettes; Jerome Recalls a Ride in a Hansom Cab; The Woman of the Saeter; Malvina of Brittany.

Fine in fine dj.