The Shadow on the Dial


Bierce, Ambrose. San Francisco, 1909. 1st edition. Original cloth. 249 pp. Large 8vo. Very good.

Extremely scarce first edition collecting several acerbic essays and tales by Bierce, author of The Devil’s Dictionary. Embossed gilt titles and a drawing of a sundial on green buckram. Nicely printed on fine watermarked paper, and embellished with a decorated title-page. Sunning to the binding and gentle fraying around the edges; scratches to page tops. Offsetting to the endpapers, but with an otherwise thoroughly unmarked interior.

Ambrose Gwinnett Bierce (June 24, 1842 – circa 1914) was an American editorialist, journalist, short story writer, fabulist, and satirist. He wrote the short story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge” and compiled a satirical lexicon, The Devil’s Dictionary. His vehemence as a critic, his motto “Nothing matters”, and the sardonic view of human nature that informed his work, all earned him the nickname “Bitter Bierce”.


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