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Ernest Bramah

The Specimen Case

Hodder & Stoughton 1924
Jacket artwork by Ellen Edwards

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A COLLECTION of twenty-one stories which bridge, in the process of their writing, thirty years of life, might be expected to offer at least the element of variety. How far the present volume succeeds or fails in this respect I am not just now concerned in arguing, but the occasion has reminded me ... When I was very young (how young, the reader may gather from the context) I was for some time possessed by one definite ambition: to have to my credit a single example of every kind of literary exercise. To anticipate repeating any of these facile achievements would seem to have held no charm, and at this flight of time I am far from being certain what the youth who is now so dim a shadow in memory's background would have included in his quaint and ingenuous assemblage. But there were to be, I am sure, an historical romance; a psychological study; a " shilling shocker " (as it was then called); an intensely pathetic book (Misunderstood was doubtless still being spoken of); an epic (or was the thing I meant called a saga, I wondered ?); something quite unlike anything that had ever been written before; a classic (I have already pleaded infancy); a " best seller " (but that distressing cliche was as yet uncoined); anovelshowing myintimate knowledge of the world, women, and sin in general;

Ernest Bramah     Ellen Edwards


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