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Antique Book Victorian Novel, The Gorgeous Isle A Romance, Gertrude Atherton 1908, Illustrated

Regular price $18.50
This antique Victorian novel, "The Gorgeous Isle: A Romance," by Gertrude Atherton is a hard-to-find reprint edition by Grosset & Dunlap, 1908. The light green cloth front board shows an embossed image of a 19th-century woman with a shawl flowing behind her and butterflies swarming around her lovely bonnet. The image colors have begun to fade, but the C. Coles Phillips illustrations remain clear and lovely. Known for his use of negative space and his "fading women" brought him fame with readers of Life magazine. The volume contains several of his pieces complimentary to that concept, as shown in photo.  

At a time when women could not be writers and enjoy social success, Atherton began her career under the pseudonym, Asmodeus, and when she revealed her plan to write, her family ostracized her. She went on to reach literary acclaim and was often compared to Henry James and Edith Wharton, something that did not please James.

A contemporary review of the novel's first edition in The Forum states: "The Gorgeous Isle, which is Gertrude Atherton's sole contribution to this year's fiction. The familiar situation is this: a certain man has been steadily drinking himself to death. A certain woman loves him well enough to run the risk of marrying him on the chance of bringing about a reformation. They are married; he keeps his word and his health is re-established. But it happens that this man is a poet, who is able to give the world immortal verse, provided he continues the use of alcohol. The choice lies between a long life of stagnation and a few brief years of meteoric glory. Has the woman the right to rob the world of great literature for the sake of one man's physical welfare? Mrs. Atherton's solution at least opens up some interesting discussions."

This is a delightful novel to read and own and would fit perfectly among your collection or as an item in you shabby chic decor. Please see my photos and ask questions.

Thanks for looking!


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