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Behind a Mask: The Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott by  Louisa May ALCOTT - Hardcover - Signed - 1975 - from Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts, ABAA and

Behind a Mask: The Unknown Thrillers of Louisa May Alcott

by ALCOTT, Louisa May

Condition: See description

New York: William Morrow & Company, 1975. Hardcover. Edited by Madeleine Stern. Small 4to. Red paper over boards, pictorial dust jacket. xxxiii, 277pp. Frontispiece, illustrations. Very good/very good. Slight bit of mild jacket age toning and edgewear. A tight and attractive second printing of this quartette of pseudonymously published Alcott potboilers: "Behind a Mask, or a Woman's Power," "Pauline's Passion and Punishment," "The Mysterious Key and What It Opened" and "The Abbot's Ghost, or Maurice Treherne's Temptation." Stern's introduction showing how she discovered these thrillers published under the name "A.M. Bernard" in long-forgotten weeklies is riveting. A decorative-edged archival bookplate on the front flyleaf is signed boldly by her in black ballpoint and also by Leona Rostenberg in black fineline. Rostenberg was Stern's long-time partner in the acclaimed antiquarian bookselling firm Rostenberg and Stern, and together they authored many books about the book trade; Rostenberg played a key part in Stern's research on Alcott.

Originally published in 1866 under the pseudonym "A. M. Barnard." Louisa May Alcott's novel of romance and sexual intrigue is one of her lesser-known gems. Its tone and characterizations strike a markedly different chord from her best-known works, such as "Little Women" and "Little Men," and it remains a popular addition to her oeuvre.


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