This is the first edition of Welsh writer Arthur 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.
This third and final volume covers his work between the years 1911 and 1937.
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 2: 1911–1937
The third volume of Machen’s collected fiction begins with a tale, “The Thousand and One Nights,” that has never before been reprinted. It continues with a succession of tales that Machen wrote during and just after World War I, a cataclysm that shook Europe to its foundations. The most famous of these is “The Bowmen” (1914), a narrative of medieval soldiers coming to the rescue of besieged British infantrymen in France was widely believed to be a true account, in spite of Machen’s repeated protestations to the contrary.
Machen’s final war tale, the short novel The Terror (1916), is an imperishable depiction of the revolt of animals against humanity’s rulership of the earth. In the 1920s Machen resorted to humor and satire to convey his dissatisfaction with the increasing secularization of his era, which he felt was robbing the imagination of wonder and mystery. He also began contributing to anthologies of original weird fiction edited by Cynthia Asquith and others, producing several memorable tales as a result, including “The Happy Children” and “The Islington Mystery.”
Machen’s final novel, The Green Round (1933), is a subtle tale of supernatural menace, narrated in the blandly repertorial prose that Machen had developed in his later work. He then published two final volumes of weird tales, The Cosy Room and The Children of the Pool (both 1936), which contain many memorable tales, including “The Bright Boy” and “N.”
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