Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott Company, 1924.
First Edition. Hardcover. A suspicious goblet and a snake-haired Medusa beckon you in from the dramatic dust jacket and the blood red cover beneath of this 1924 first edition of Poison Mysteries in History, Romance and Crime. Among its pages you'll find chapters on “The Poison Lore of Toads and Spiders,” “Royal and Historic Poisoners,” "Curious Methods Employed by Secret Poisoners," “Love Philtres [Potions] and Poisons,” and much more, including accounts of poison plots throughout history from ancient times up to the modern era, the appearance of poisons in fiction, superstitions connected with poisonous plants, a chapter on "Hashish and Hashish-Eaters," details on poisons famous, strange, and lesser known, including but by no means limited to arsenic and antimony, mandrake and mercury, hellebore and hemlock and more, and 25 studies of historical poison mysteries. This deliciously dangerous study of poison in history and literature is the work of British physician, medical historian, toxicologist, and member of the Royal Society of Medicine Charles John Samuel Thompson (1862–1943) and comes illustrated in a frontispiece and 11 monochrome photographic plates, including an illustration of a bezoar, which every first year Hogwarts potions student knows from Professor Snape’s class is “for your information, Potter...a stone taken from the stomach of a goat and it will save you from most poisons.”
7 3/4" X 5 1/4". 412pp. Presumed first printing, with date of 1924 to title page. Presents nicely in scarce, protective archival sleeved dust jacket. Moderate wear to unclipped dust jacket, with small tears to corners and head and tail of spine, rubbing and creasing to edges and extremities, sunning and dust soiling to spine and rear panel, and slight lean to spine. Bound in full crimson cloth over boards, with vignette of snake-haired Medusa stamped in black to upper board, lettered in kind to upper board and spine. Light shelfwear to binding, with slight lean to spine and gentle bumping to tail. Binding is firm and sound. Underlining and checkmarks to pages throughout in graphite, red, and blue pencil. Illustrated in a frontispiece and 11 monochrome photographic plates. Very good / good +. Item #13783