Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1883.
Hardcover. Very good. Early reprint (first published 1876), in a full-leather binding with raised bands, decorative gilt rules on boards, gilt inner dentelles, marbled endpapers, all edges gilt. 6.25", 338 pp, extra-illustrated with 28 mounted albumen photographs (4" x 5.25") of Egyptian scenes. "Rev. Russell Edwards Angell" stamped in ink on half-title. Some rubbing to extremities and two of the raised bands; very good. Julia Constance Fletcher (1858-1938) was an American-born novelist and playwright who was raised mainly in Venice, but also spent time in London, where as an adult she became friends with many of the leading literary figures, including Robert Browning, Henry James, John Addington Symonds, and Oscar Wilde. Kismet was her first book, published when she was just 18 under the title A Nile Novel and the pseudonym George Fleming. (This 1883 edition was published anonymously as part of Roberts Brothers "No Name Series"). Based on Fletcher's own experiences on the Grand Tour, Kismet follows the fortunes of a party of English and American travelers in Egypt. It was immediate hit and was reprinted many times before 1900. The photographs added to this copy are well suited to the text and include images of architecture, monuments, landscapes, river scenes, and local people by several of the prominent photographers of the era -- including Pascal Sebah, Antonio Beato, Henri Bechard, and Frank Mason Good. Some images are uncredited, but all are clearly professional. .