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Seven for a Secret. 1922 First Edition. Inscribed to May Sinclair.

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Mary Webb. Seven for a Secret. London: Hutchinson & Co., 1922. First edition. Inscribed on the front free endpaper: “Miss May Sinclair / from Mary Webb. / Dec: 1st 1922. / 46. B. Leinster Square / W.2.” The exact extent and depth of the friendship between Webb and Sinclair (1863–1946) is uncertain, although Webb presented Sinclair with a copy of her second novel, Gone to Earth (1917) in 1921 and reviewed Sinclair’s later novel Far End in the November 1926 issue of the Bookman. Seven for a Secret was written in a lighter vein than Webb’s previous three novels. After the lack of critical understanding for Webb’s underlying themes in The House in Dormer Forest (1920), she hoped to generate wider popular appeal for Seven for a Secret by interweaving elements of love, mystery and a murder into her plot.