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White Chappell Scarlet Tracings

Item Code BK-IS-WCST-hb
Caption
First edition, hardback.
Date of Work
1987
Height (cm)
0.00
Width (cm)
0.00
Nationality
British
£100

Description

A novel bringing together an impressively predatory and seedy group of antiquarian book-dealers and an investigation of the 19th-century Jack the Ripper murders. The London East End and bare East Anglian locations generate a bizarre and realistic atmosphere for the rush of events - dark Dickensian alleys and occult churches, hospitals of victims and crazed doctors, panicking aristocrats in their backstreet sexual encounters, and the isolation of grim marshlands and ruined boats. The double detective plot fuses a hunt for rare books with an obsessive plunge into the Ripper labyrinths opened up by the Sickert family and others. Past and present ferment in an atmosphere of hallucinatory and actual fears in an extending underground. This novel became sole runner-up in the Guardian Fiction Prize. Previously known as a poet, White Chappell, Scarlet Tracings was Sinclair's first novel. As the author himself notes in the book's acknowledgements, it may be regarded as closing a trilogy begun with the poetic works, Lud Heat (1975) and Suicide Bridge (1979), while also opening a trilogy of novels concluding with Downriver (1991) and Radon Daughters Frontispiece by Rigby Graham, dust jacket after a painting by John Bellany. First edition. 8vo., original black cloth, dust jacket. Beautifully designed by Martino Mardersteig and printed, old-fashioned letterpress, in Verona.
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