Good. Item #9434
London: Ash Partners, 1897. Illustrated Edition. Octavo (8.5" x 6"); , [vi], 438pp +2 ads. 12 plates including frontis. Publisher's red cloth with black and gilt illustration and lettering. Boards worn and exposed at corners with some tearing and fraying at spine ends and at top front joint, darkening to spine, and some general surface smudges and soils. Hinges cracked; boards opening fairly shakily with the spine backing wanting to get involved as well along front gutter, but all still holding. Front and back free endpapers have been excised. Opens easily between gatherings, but binding again is still holding. Pages a bit toned along edges and occasionally brittle, with a number of pages toward middle with small horizontal tears along fore-edge, not extending into text. Large pencil ownership inscription to front pastedown along with a couple small pencil notes; small Brentano's bookseller ticket at bottom of back pastedown.
Preceded by the Tower Publications First Edition in 1895, with Bleiler suggesting a possible serial appearance ahead of that. Bleiler notes of Zalma: "Borderline science-fiction combined with sensational roman a clef society material based on current scandal and intellectual movements...The author's political sympathies would seem to be with Christian Socialism...The story per se is ridiculous, but it is imaginative, and the surface writing is at times very good."
A rough but generally presentable copy. Apparently rather scarce in retail.