Inscribed, with Autograph Letter, signed, 1915

Men of the Deep Waters. “Deep Waters of Mysterious Seas, and the Great Deep of Life”.

London: Eveleigh Nash, 1914.

Price: $10,000.00

About the item

First edition. 303, [3, ads] pp. 1 vols. 8vo. Inscribed, with Autograph Letter, signed, 1915. Dark red cloth, upper board titled in gilt. Very good copy (spine a bit faded,some rubbing). Newspaper clipping of death notice on flyleaf with death date in another hand. Currey p. 243 (binding A); Bleiler, Guide to Supernatural Fiction (1983), 820.

Item #324339

Collection of short stories by author William Hope Hodgson, esteemed for his supernatural novels The House on the Borderland (1908). The Ghost Pirates (1909), and The Night land (1912) and for his stories of Carnacki the Ghost-Finder (1913). Hodgson spent part of his early life at sea, which gave his sea-stories “vividness and authenticity” (Bleiler). Men of the Deep Waters includes tales of strong supernatural interest, among them “The Derelict” and “The Voice in the Night” which have elements of science fiction.
Inscribed by the author on the front flyleaf, “To the Fetherstonhaughs from William Hope Hodgson, Heytesbury Wilts November 1915”, and with a four-page autograph letter, signed, from Hodgson to Captain Featherstonehaugh dated 26 November 1915, bearing Hodgson’s wax seal (a black-letter H) on the back.

After his marriage, Hodgson “settled in the south of France but returned to Britain in 1914 when the First World War broke out. Hodgson joined the University of London Officers' Training Corps and was commissioned in the Royal Field Artillery in 1915. He was discharged from active service in 1916 after a head injury sustained when he was thrown from a horse, but persuaded the RFA to recommission him a year later, and was posted to France in October 1917. He was killed by a shellburst near Ypres on 19 April 1918, while reporting from a forward position on the accuracy of his battery's fire” (ODNB)

J.E. Fetherstonhaugh was Canadian-born commandant of Company C, 171st Howitzer Brigade, of the Royal Field Artillery. Hodgson was recovering from his fall and writes “ I want you to be a real brick & tell me the truth. I’ve heard a rumour that I’m not going out with you. Please tell me, honest Injun, is this so or not? … I think I’m bucking up ‘pretty good’; but my shoulder’s still damn painful & I get done-out when I try to use my confounded thinking-box. I want to thank you & Mrs Featherstonehaugh again for the united & charming courtesy & kindly thought you both showed me when I was flat on my back.” Signed “William Hope Hodgson” and with a P.S. “When do we fire our course? W.H.H.”

A nice association copy of a scarce book, with an excellent autograph letter.