Welsh writer Arthur Machen (1863–1947) is one of the towering figures in the Golden Age of weird fiction, and his novels and tales have influenced generations of weird writers and remain immensely popular among readers. But much of his work has been difficult to obtain, remaining buried in obscure magazines and newspapers of a century ago or published in expensive limited editions.
This is the first edition of Machen’s fiction to be based on a thorough examination of his manuscripts and early publications. It is also the first edition to arrange Machen’s fiction chronologically by date of writing.
Volume 1: 1888–1895
This first volume contains his charming picaresque novel The Chronicle of Clemendy (1888), an exquisite imitation of the medieval narratives of Chaucer and Boccaccio. At this time Machen was a young journalist who had moved from his native Wales to London, and he wrote a number of humorous and slightly risqué sketches for fashionable London magazines. But then he published “The Great God Pan” (1894), one of the pioneering works in the entire range of weird fiction. It was condemned by contemporary reviewers as the work of a diseased mind. Machen followed it up with the episodic novel The Three Impostors (1895), containing the brilliant segments “The Novel of the Black Seal” (which features the Little People, a sub-human race lurking on the edges of civilization), “The Novel of the White Powder,” and other vivid narratives.