Sergeant Michael Cassidy R.E. by ‘Sapper’ (Hodder and Stoughton, 1915) H. C. McNeile softback edition
Sergeant Michael Cassidy R.E.
by ‘Sapper’ [H. C. McNeile]
Hodder and Stoughton, 1915
Herman Cyril McNeile (1888-1937), author of the ‘Bulldog Drummond’ series of books (later continued by Gerard Fairlie). A serving soldier during the First World War, he wrote a series of short war stories under the pseudonym ‘Sapper’ which were published in the Daily Mail newspaper and later in two books, ‘The Lieutenant and Others’ and ‘Sergeant Michael Cassidy, R.E.’, both published in 1915.
This softback edition possibly pre-dating the hardback edition with no mention of ‘The Lieutenant and Others’, this book being advertised to the half-title page verso in the hardback edition. The dustwrapper art shows a slightly different and more full length portrait of Cassidy with crutch and cigarette. The wrapper is attached at the spine and folds over blank pages: i.e. paste-down/free endpaper to front, and last blank leaf to final signature to rear. Priced 1/- to spine and blank to flaps and rear panel. Interestingly, the leaf between the title page and the contents page has been removed leaving a neat stub; I believe this to be original and as intended by the publisher with the hardback edition also not having a page at this point.
Softback – dustwrapper (attached at spine) over outer pages. pp paste-down/free endpaper, [i-iv], vii-ix,  blank, 1-177,  blank. Size: 7.25 x 5 inches approx. (186mm x 126mm).
Dustwrapper rubbed and worn; creased, torn and tatty to bottom edge; spine creased and with some loss to foot of spine affecting the publisher’s name; somewhat dusty and grubby. Heavy foxing to several pages at the front and again to rear; a name in ink to front free endpaper, some offsetting and foxing; some curling to page corners, with more significant wear and creasing to lower corner of pages towards rear; edges of page-block dusty and foxed/spotted with encroachment onto page margins.
Overall, showing wear but remains an attractive copy in its dustwrapper – very uncommon.
ref. An excellent dustwrapper resource can be found at Great War Dust Jackets
ref. Sapper, Hodder & Stoughton, and the Popular Literature of the Great War by Lise Jaillant