Arthur Machen

From Academic Kids

Arthur Machen (March 3, 1863 - March 30, 1947) was a Welsh-born author of fantasy and horror fiction. He was born Arthur Llewelyn Jones, in Carleon-on-Usk; later he was called Arthur Jones-Machen.

He is known most for his writing around the beginning of the 20th century, much of it composed in a quite short period in the 1890s. He endured poverty in later life, relieved by a Civil list pension from 1932.

Selected works

  • The Hill of Dreams - Semi-autobiographical, this recounts a young man's dreamy childhood in rural Wales, and his attempts to make a living as an author in the City. Generally thought to be Machen's greatest work.
  • The Great God Pan (1894) - A woman has her mind destroyed by an attempt to enable her to see the god of nature. Years later, a young woman, Helen Vaughn arrives on the London social scene, disturbing many young men; it transpires that she is the monstrous offspring of the god Pan and the woman of the experiment.
  • The White People - a young girl's diary, recounting tales told her by her nurse, and her increasingly deep delvings into magic. Often described as one of the greatest of all horror short stories. Very subtle in its telling.
  • The Novel of the Black Seal - somewhat of a precursor of H. P. Lovecraft in its subject matter, the protagonist gradually uncovers the secrets of a hidden pre- and non- human race hiding in the Welsh hills, and the true nature of a hybrid, idiot child fathered by one of them.
  • The Novel of the White Powder - A man's behavior takes a strange turn after he starts taking a new prescription. His sister doesn't know if this is a good thing or a bad one...
  • The Inmost Light - A scientist imprisons his wife's soul in a shining jewel, letting something else into her untenanted body, but the jewel is stolen before he can reverse this...
  • The Three Imposters - A short novel composed of many separate short stories, including 'The Novel of the White Powder' and 'The Novel of the Black Seal'. Centers on the search for a man with spectacles.
  • The Red Hand - Another story featuring the main characters from 'The Three Imposters'. It focuses on a murder performed with, of all things, an ancient stone axe.
  • The Shining Pyramid - Strange arrangements of stones appear at the edge of a young man's property. He and a friend attempt to decipher their meaning before it is too late...
  • The Terror - In 1916 wartime Britain a series of unexplained murders occur with no sign of who or what is responsible.
  • The Great Return - The Holy Grail returns to a Welsh village.
  • The Bowmen (1914) - In this story, written and published during World War I, the ghosts of archers from the battle of Agincourt come to the aid of British troops. This is attributed (by some at least) as the origin of the Angels of Mons legend.

External links

fr:Arthur Machen ja:アーサー・マッケン sv:Arthur Machen

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