Exciting new books from the House of Pomegranates Press!
The Hill Of Dreams
Arthur Machen (3 March 1863 - 15 December 1947) was a Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His novella The Great God Pan (1890; 1894) has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror, with Stephen King describing it as "Maybe the best [horror story] in the English language." He is also well known for his leading role in creating the legend of the Angels of Mons.
From the The Friends of Arthur Machen website:
For many readers today this is Machen’s most important and moving work … Machen drew copiously on his own early years in Wales and London, and the book as a whole is an exploration through imagination of a potential fate which he personally avoided. One of the first explorations in fiction of the figure of the doomed artist, who is biographically so much a part of the decadent 1890s.
The Hill of Dreams was little noticed on its publication in 1907 save in a glowing review by Alfred Douglas. "Machen's prose has the rhythmic beat of some dreadful Oriental instrument, insistent, monotonous, haunting; and still the soft tone of one careful flute sounds on, and keeps the nerves alive to the slow and growing pain of the rhythmic beat... It is like some dreadful liturgy of self-inflicted pain, set to measured music…”
Machen was a member of the New Bohemians drinking society that used to meet at the Prince's Head in Buckinghamshire Street, London. Members included Alfred Douglas, Arthur Ransome, Hilaire Belloc, Richard Barham Middleton, Edgar Jepson, Edwin Pugh and Cecil Chesterton.
The Collected Blue-Beard, As chosen by Prof. M. Flowers, BMus, MA, PhD
Real-life monster, myth, or fable. Collected here are essays, histories and fairy tales of the monster named Blue-Beard, as chosen by folklore historian M. Flowers. Included here:
The Original Blue-Beard - The History of Gilles De Retz
The Book of Were- wolves –The Maréchal de Retz
Reverend Sabine Baring-Gould
English Fairy Tales – Mr. Fox
Four And Twenty Fairy Tales – Blue-Beard
J R Planché
The Blue Fairy Book – Blue-Beard
The Book of Werewolves
Fantasy, myth, and religious scholars probably know of the eccentric Sabine Baring-Gould’s work. He was prolific in his day, (more than 1,240 publications and 15 children) specifically in writing hymns. The Book of Were-Wolves, written in 1865, is a fascinating read on many levels. First, it shows the transition of literary styles from the late 1800s to today. Second, it is a real attempt at unbiased scholarship by someone whose biases show up in everything else.
Histories of shapeshifting from a wide variety of cultures (Baring-Gould cites everything from North American to South American to Asia to Africa and back up to Europe for examples), and attempts to explain shapeshifting as any number of things; is it psychosis? Is it real? Is it magic? Is it biologic? Is it culture-based (this section alone is worth the read).
He spends some time reviewing cases of ghoulism - eating the dead - as were-activity, also worth the read.