01 February 2007

Judas and Other Stories. John Metcalfe. 1931.

John Metcalfe. JUDAS AND OTHER STORIES. Constable. London, 1931.

Current Selling Prices
$750-$1200? /£400-£650? Want level 15-30 Quite High

10 short stories, supernatural, weird and contes cruels. British author who lived in France and America (he was married to the US writer Evelyn Scott) and wrote mainly fantasy. His books are much sought after and possessed of 'rare artistry, wit and intelligence...' (Sullivan - Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural) George Locke wrote in the first vol of his 'Spectrum of Fantasy' that `'...it's a toss up as to whether this or 'The Smoking Leg' is the more difficult." Both are collections of short stories with fantastical elements but the net has shown Judas to be far more difficult and hence more searched after. There are currently 5 'Legs' but no Judas at ABE.

VALUE? A decent copy lacking the fep and sans jacket listed by the great fantasy dealer Currey has sold (or vanished) at £275. Locke bought his for 3/6 in the 1960s. From this flimsy evidence it could be inferred that nice in jacket it would probably fetch £600+. Same goes for the 'Smoking Leg' in sharp condition with its jolly Jarrolds jacket, the Doubleday is a year later and not uncommon. Short stories always seem to have an added value factor in fantasy and even more so with mystery and detection. Can't quite explain it, probably to do with variety, also scarcity.

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