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Tartarus Press

Dreads and Drolls by Arthur Machen - tpbk

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This volume contains sixty studies, mostly from real life, each of which, by its capacity for inspiring terror or causing amused wonder, qualifies as the 'Dread' or 'Droll' of Arthur Machen's general heading. 'To be able so to tell the bare truth that it seems a magnificent lie' is the qualification which has attracted Machen to the most outstanding of his narrations.

When Dreads and Drolls was first published in 1926 it contained twenty-nine articles reprinted from London's The Graphic. We have great pleasure in more than doubling that number by including all of his contributions from that magazine. To 'The Euston Square Mystery', 'The Adventure of the Long-Lost Brother' and others we have been able to add 'A Castle in Celtic Myths', 'A Pretty Parricide', 'One Night When I Was Frightened' and many more.

There is a tendency towards the re-telling of notable eighteenth-century crimes among these 'Dreads' and 'Drolls', but Machen also manages to illuminate such a wide range of subjects as the Holy Grail, the 'Little People' and cookery. In this entertaining and diverse collection of essays, Machen manages to show how little human nature has changed through the centuries.

We can admire Machen, in the words he uses to commend Grimaldi, as a man with an 'admirable scent for mystery and capacity of creating it'.

Contents: ' 'Introduction, by R.B. Russell, 'Note, by Arthur Machen, 'The Man With the Silver Staff', 'The Mystery of Mr Haddock', 'Ceremony on the Scaffold', 'Mr Lutterloh', 'A Lament for London's Lost Inns', 'Madame Rachel', 'Sir Benjamin The "Baron" ', 'Our Betty's Day Out', 'How The Rich Live', 'The Highbury Mystery', 'Deadly Nevergreen', 'Polite Correspondence', 'How Clubs Began', 'The Ingenious Mr Blee', 'Old Dr Mounsey', 'Casanova in London', ' "Doubles" In Crime', ' "Characters" ', 'The Euston Square Mystery', 'More Inns', 'The Adventure of the Long-Lost Brother', 'The Power of Jargon', 'The Little People', 'The Campden Wonder', 'Morduck the Witch', 'The Man From Nowhere', 'Before Wembley', 'The Strange Case of Emily Weston', 'The Gay Victorians', 'A Castle in Celtic Mists', 'A Tale of a Turbot', 'Chivalry', '7B Coney Court', 'Concerning Cocktails', 'Mothers-in-Law', 'A Pretty Parricide', 'The Cry of a Captive', 'Our Funny Friends', 'Twins', 'Hungry Weather!', 'The Medicine-Man's Magic', 'The Best of Everything', 'The Merry Widow', 'Knocking Legends To Smithereens', 'One Night When I Was Frightened', 'The Wood Family', 'Houses', 'The People of the Wild', 'Laugh When You Awake', 'The Little Brown Things', 'Shakespeare's 'Bare Bones', 'The Simplicity of Genius', 'Books that a Queen May Read', 'Society and the Savage', 'Those Doctors!', 'The "B" in Baconian Bonnets', 'The Scholar and the Sun-Myth', 'Dr Johnson's Disappearing Act', 'When the Much-Travelled Man Comes Home', 'England's Last State Lottery', Bibliographical information.