The Secret Kingdom
1911, a parody of Ruritanian romances, with guest appearance from Sherlock Holmes
First edition, third impression. Hardback, bound in blue cloth with blindstamped design, and gilt titling to spine and upper board. 19.5 × 12.5cm, 340pp.
A rare Edwardian novel that both parodies the Ruritanian romances of the time (Prisoner of Zenda etc) and has a guest appearance by Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. The hero, Paul Peterson, is an Oxford graduate and unknowing heir to the throne of Numania. He was raised by his guardian, Colonel Bombavitch, and is in love with his guardian's niece, the self-promoting novelist Amanda Dolorosa. When stranger's approach him with messages such as "Paul Petrovitch, be prepared, the day is at hand", he seeks the great detectives help, only to discover that all is not as it seems...
A good copy. The spine is a little tanned, and there is some red ink bleeding along the edge of the front pastedown, ffep, rear pastedown and rfep, with some fainter marking to the boards but this has not affected the main body of text at all. The pages are clean, if a little tanned to the margins and the binding is sound.