The Doll and One Other

Arkham House

First Printing, 1946; edition of 3000 copies

Hardcover; 138 pp.

Cover art by Ronald Clyne

One of the last original collections of the author's work published during his lifetime.

 

Pan's Garden

Tartarus Press

First Printing, May 2000

Hardcover; 274 pp.

Introduction by Lin Carter

Cover art by Bob Pepper

Reprint of Dunsany's first novel, first published in 1922.

 

The Willows

Wildside Press

First Printing, 2005

Hardcover; 89 pp.

Reprint of one of Blackwood's most famous stories.

 
Four Weird Tales

Wildside Press

First Printing, 2005

Hardcover; 138 pp.

Four of Blackwood's best stories, reprinted from various collections.

 
The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories

Wildside Press

First Printing, 2005

Hardcover; 183 pp.

Reprint of Dunsany's first collection, originally published in 1906.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the British Isles produced many of the greatest writers of supernatural and weird fiction who ever lived. A number of these writers are featured on this site, including one of the finest masters of them all, Algernon Blackwood.

My first exposure to Blackwood's work came by way of his lone entry in the Arkham House canon. Containing just two stories, The Doll and One Other was a small, slim volume, but it packed a big punch.
As it happens, I knew the title story before I read the book. Any of you who are fans of Rod Serling's follow-up to his classic Twilight Zone television series may remember the Night Gallery episode from 1971 called The Doll. With a screenplay by Serling, it was a faithful retelling of Blackwood's story. The result was suitably creepy and atmospheric, as is the story it is based on.

The Arkham House collection, published in 1946, came late in Blackwood's writing career. A story that many consider to be his finest came much earlier. The Willows, which H.P. Lovecraft called "The finest weird story I have ever read", first appeared in the 1907 collection The Listener and Other Stories. It is a favorite of mine, and I'm sure it will be one of yours, as well.

The best of Blackwood's ghost stories and weird tales reflect his interest in the mystical, and he often produced a sense of true terror through atmospheric mystery and awe rather than outright horror. He was also a nature lover, and many of his stories - e.g., The Willows - reflect this. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I encourage you to seek out Blackwood's work if you don't know it already. Fortunately, many of his stories and novels are in print and available in a variety of editions, including titles from Wildside Press, among others - visit The Attic for a link to their website.
- Doc, March 2007

A Brief Bio of Algernon Blackwood
Born in Kent in southern England in 1869, Blackwood moved to the United States as a young man, and then to Canada. After traveling the world, he moved back to England in 1899 and began writing. In 1906, he published his first collection of short stories, The Empty House and Other Ghost Stories. All in all, Blackwood wrote dozens of short stories and a half dozen novels in his career, plus a handful of plays and even fantasies for children. Like his contemporary Lord Dunsany with his creation Joseph Jorkens, a number of Blackwood's stories revolve around a single character, in this case the psychic sleuth John Silence. Near the end of his life, he worked on radio telling - not surprisingly - ghost stories! He died in England in 1951.


- Doc, March 2007