Place and Imprint: London: Trübner & Co., 1887.
Edition: First edition.
Bibliographical References: Wolff 7188; Sadleir 3020a; NCBEL III, 1076.
Condition: Fine copy.
Book ID: 28827
Physical Description8vo, original dark blue cloth, gilt lettering.
CommentsThe third of six novels that William Hale White (1831-1913) wrote under the dual pseudonyms of Mark Rutherford and his imaginary editor Reuben Shapcott. White was fairly well known under his actual name as a journalist and translator of Spinoza, but apparently wanted to hide his identity as the author of novels that eloquently examine adversity in political radicalism, religious nonconformity and the ability of man to change or make a difference. The main character in The Revolution in Tanner's Lane is Zachariah Coleman, a printer, political radical and moderate Calvinist, who is lectured to by another activist when he expresses remorse about the lack of progress their movement had made: "Stop, stop, Mr. Coleman. Here is the mistake you make. Grant it all – grant your achievement is ridiculously small – is it not worth the sacrifice of two or three like you and me to accomplish it? That is our error. We think ourselves of such mighty importance. The question is, whether we are of such importance, and whether the progress of the world one inch will not be cheaply purchased by the annihilation of a score of us. You believe in what you call salvation! You would struggle and die to save a soul; but in reality you can never save a man; you must be content to struggle and die to save a little bit of him – to prevent one habit from descending to his children. You won’t save him wholly, but you may arrest the propagation of an evil trick, and so improve a trifle – just a trifle – whole generations to come" - as quoted from Luke McKerman's essay on White on his blog lukemckernan.com. White's smooth, rich yet not fussy prose style was highly thought of by other writers of the era, including Arnold Bennett who said that The Revolution in Tanner's Lane was one of the finest examples of modern English prose.