Marjorie Bowen (1885-1952) spent the early part of her working life providing for a demanding and ungrateful family. We are lucky that she did so, since among the results were these short stories of rare quality. In their use of dreams, ancient anecdote, and ruined or dilapidated buildings ('Florence Flannery', 'The Fair Hair of Ambrosine') they are at times in the finest tradition of The Castle of Otranto and the Gothic revival which had chilled the blood of the British public a hundred and fifty years earlier. But her stories are more subtle in their construction, and often use simple materials ('The Crown Derby Plate', Elsie's Lonely Afternoon'), interweaving their terror and mystery with the commonplace of everyday life. Their mastery of detail, sureness of expression and acute reading of human nature give them a sinister force, which is realistic and unnerving, yet at the same time tinged with pity and compassion.
We are delighted to publish this classic book as part of our extensive Classic Library collection. Many of the books in our collection have been out of print for decades, and therefore have not been accessible to the general public. The aim of our publishing program is to facilitate rapid access to this vast reservoir of literature, and our view is that this is a significant literary work, which deserves to be brought back into print after many decades. The contents of the vast majority of titles in the Classic Library have been scanned from the original works. To ensure a high quality product, each title has been meticulously hand curated by our staff. Our philosophy has been guided by a desire to provide the reader with a book that is as close as possible to ownership of the original work. We hope that you will enjoy this wonderful classic work, and that for you it becomes an enriching experience.
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About the Author
Her total output numbers over 150 volumes with the bulk of her work under the 'Bowen' pseudonym. She also wrote under the names Joseph Shearing, George R. Preedy, John Winch, Robert Paye and Margaret Campbell. After The Viper of Milan (1906), she produced a steady stream of writings until the day of her death. Her first weird fiction novel was Black Magic (1909), a historical novel featuring witchcraft and Pope Joan. Bowen also wrote history books aimed at a popular readership.