William Wymark Jacobs (8 September 1863 - 1 September 1943) was an English author of short stories and novels. During his career, he was best known for his farcical comedies involving dockside and rural Essex characters. He occasionally wrote horror stories and is best remembered today for "The Monkey's Paw" (1902). In 1879, Jacobs began work as a clerk in the civil service, in the Post Office Savings Bank, and by 1885, he had his first short story published. His road to success was relatively slow' Arnold Bennett writing in 1898 was astonished that Jacobs turned down the sum of £500 for six short stories. Jacobs was financially secure enough to be able to leave the post office in 1899.