THE MYSTERY OF A HANSOM CAB. A startling and realistic story of Melbourne social life. Seventy-fifth thousand. A sensational novel.
London: The Hansom Cab Publishing Company, . [5 ] 6-230, [2 advert’s] pages. Frontispiece advert for Orient line. Original upper paper cover [lacking lower], housed in quarter blue morocco gilt folding box over black boards. Small octavo. Lacking rear of wrapper. Front of wrapper a little frayed at edges, with small paper loss to corners and a crease to bottom edge. Spine has paper loss to head and heel. Some slight browning and spotting to interior, with some occasional small creasing to interior corners; else, a very good copy of the first U.K. edition. First UK edition, earliest practically obtainable impression with "seventy-fifth thousand" on the title page. The novel was first published in Australia in 1886 and quickly went through four impressions. The author sold the copyright to Frederick Trischler, a businessman, who travelled to London and founded the Hansom Cab Publishing Company in 1887. They printed 25,000 copies a month from July onwards, this being the third, September impression of the first U.K. edition. Hundreds of thousands of copies would be sold by the end of the century. See Quayle, The Collector's Book of Detective Fiction, p. 52.