And so begins our quarantined non-religious-anti-consumerist-Halloween-based-festive season at The House of Pomegranates HQ.
"Some Words with a Mummy" is a satirical short story by Edgar Allan Poe. It was first published in The American Review: A Whig Journal of Politics, Literature, Art and Science in April 1845.
The story is regarded as featuring the earliest known image of a revived Egyptian mummy. In an 1852 anthology of Poe's works published in the UK, an illustration depicted a revived mummy. Poe and the illustrator challenged accepted racial stereotypes and European imperialism.
"The Vampyre" was written by William Polidori was an English writer and physician. He is known for his associations with the Romantic movement and credited by some as the creator of the vampire genre of fantasy fiction. This is his most successful work, the first published modern vampire story. Although originally and erroneously accredited to Lord Byron, both Byron and Polidori affirmed that the story is Polidori's
Arthur Machen was the pen-name of Arthur Llewellyn Jones, 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 "The Bowmen", a short story that was widely read as fact, creating the legend of the Angels of Mons.
The PDSA Dickin Medal was created in 1943 in the United Kingdom by Maria Dickin to honour the work of animals in World War II. The bronze medallion, bears the words "For Gallantry" and "We Also Serve" on a ribbon of striped green, dark brown, and pale blue. It is awarded to animals that have displayed "conspicuous gallantry or devotion to duty while serving or associated with any branch of the Armed Forces or Civil Defence Units". The award is commonly referred to as "the animals' Victoria Cross".
The medal was awarded 54 times between 1943 and 1949 – to 32 pigeons, 18 dogs, 3 horses, and a ship's cat – to acknowledge actions of gallantry or devotion during the Second World War and subsequent conflicts.
The Plague is still upon us, lockdowns, madness, unrest. What better way to pass the autumnal hours than with two classic mysteries, The Mystery of the Yellow Room by Gaton Leroux (author of The Phantom Of The Opera) and Who's Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers, our introduction to dandy and supersluth Lord Peter Wimsy.
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The Mystery of the Yellow Room is a mystery novel written by French author Gaston Leroux. Considered one of the first locked-room mystery novels, it was first published serially in France in the periodical L'Illustration from September 1907 to November 1907, then in its own right in 1908.
It is the first novel starring fictional reporter Joseph Rouletabille and concerns a complex, and seemingly impossible, crime in which the criminal appears to disappear from a locked room. Leroux provides the reader with detailed, precise diagrams and floorplans illustrating the crime scene. The emphasis of the story is firmly on the intellectual challenge to the reader, who will almost certainly be hard pressed to unravel every detail of the situation.
Whose Body? is a 1923 mystery novel by Dorothy L. Sayers, in which she introduced the character of Lord Peter Wimsey.
Lord Peter Wimsey investigates the sudden appearance of a naked body in the bath of an architect at the same time a noted financier goes missing under strange circumstances. As the case progresses it becomes clear that the two events are linked in some way.
Murders In The Rue Morgue, Edgar Allan Poe
Combined in one exquisite volume the three mysteries of C Auguste Dupin, arguably the first consulting detective in literature. Dupin made his first appearance in Poe's 1841 short story "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", widely considered the first detective fiction story. He reappears in "The Mystery of Marie Rogêt" (1842) and "The Purloined Letter" (1844).
The Bat, Mary Roberts Rinehart and Avery Hopwood
For months, the city has lived in fear of the Bat. A master criminal hindered by neither scruple nor fear, he has stolen over one million dollars and left at least six men dead. The police are helpless, the newspapers know nothing—even the key figures of the city’s underworld have no clue as to the identity of the Bat. He is a living embodiment of death itself, and he is coming to the countryside.There, he will encounter the only person who can stop him: adventurous sixty-five-year-old spinster Cornelia Van Gorder. Last in a long line of New York society royalty, Cornelia has found old age to be a bore, and is hungry for a bit of adventure. She’s going to find it—in a lonely old country house where every shadow could be the Bat.
The Bat was a critical and commercial success. It ran for 867 performances in New York and 327 performances in London; several road companies took the show to other areas. The play was revived twice on Broadway, in 1937 and 1953. It had several adaptations, including a 1926 novelization credited to Rinehart and Hopwood but ghostwritten by Stephen Vincent Benét. Three film adaptations were produced: The Bat (1926), The Bat Whispers (1930), and The Bat (1959). The play and its adaptations inspired other comedy-mysteries with similar settings, and influenced the creation of the comic-book superhero Batman.
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It is Decadent Tuesday! and how better than to spend the day with two exquisite and oh so wicked tomes of Victorian debauchery from the House of Pomegranates Press. Link in bio.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is Oscar Wilde's only novel, first published (edited) in the July 1890 issue of Lippincott's Monthly Magazine it is a haunting dissertation on vanity, decadence, mortality and morality. This the longer and revised version published in book form in 1891 featured an aphoristic preface—a defence of the artist's rights and of art for art's sake—based in part on his press defences of the novel the previous year. The content, style, and presentation of the preface made it famous in its own right, as a literary and artistic manifesto.
Là-Bas was first published in serial form by author Joris-Karl Huysmans beginning on February 15, 1891 and published in book form in April of the same year. Many of Paris' more conservative readers were shocked by the subject matter and urged the editor to halt the serialization, but he ignored them. Sale of the book was prohibited from French railway stations.The plot of Là-Bas concerns the novelist Durtal, who is disgusted by the emptiness and vulgarity of the modern world. He seeks relief by turning to the study of the Middle Ages (chapter one contains the first critical appreciation of Matthias Grünewald's Tauberbischofsheim altarpiece) and begins to research the life of the notorious 15th-century child-murderer Gilles de Rais. Through his contacts in Paris (notably Dr. Johannes, modeled after Joseph-Antoine Boullan), Durtal finds out that Satanism is not simply a thing of the past but alive in turn of the century France. He embarks on an investigation of the occult underworld with the help of his lover Madame Chantelouve. The novel culminates with a description of a black mass.
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Before Henry Seybert died in 1883, he endowed a chair of philosophy at the University of Pennsylvania, on the condition that the University appoint a commission to investigate “all systems of Morals, Religion, or Philosophy which assume to represent the Truth, and particularly of Modern Spiritualism” (Preliminary Report of the Commission Appointed by the University of Pennsylvania to Investigate Modern Spiritualism in Accordance with the Request of the Late Henry Seybert (Philadelphia: J. B. Lippincott, 1887), 5). Spiritualism, the belief that it was possible for the spirits of the dead to communicate or interact by various means with the living, had attracted many adherents in the United States since 1850, although spiritualism could not in any way be called a unified movement.
Violet Tweedale was born in Edinburgh, the eldest daughter of Robert Chambers, editor of Chambers’ Journal. She moved to London in 1889 becoming a humanitarian and writer, publishing her first novel, And They Two that year. She married Clarens Tweedale in 1891. Moving in the best social circles she counted as friends such notables as poet Robert Browning, artist Frederic Leighton, Anne Proctor and many others.Claiming to be psychic from the age of 5 she became involved in Spiritualism and Theosophy, and was a close associate of Helena Blavatsky. She was also a member of the Order of the Golden Dawn.Tweedale was a prolific writer, publishing over 30 books on spiritual and romantic subjects. She was also a gifted amateur artist, accomplished pianist and known as the best woman golfer in her region. Ghosts I Have Seen is her factual record of ghost encounters.
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So excited that my new collection of short stories will be available on Halloween. (update: it's been delayed slightly) Appearing will be, The prince of darkness, punk rock bass players, secret gardens, hidden forests inside abandoned factories, 90s fashion, Japanese pornography, ghosts, melancholy, vampires and some martini drinking. I will provide a link when it is up for sale. Thank you.
One of our most popular releases and a perfect compliment for a full moon halloween night during the plague. Our beautifully designed edition features magical illustrations by @thegloomth Taeden Hall and a very wonderful introduction by the dark lord himself @danielrichler
Link here. Do buy a copy for the one your love ... eternal.
Happy Mabon. Finally, we can settle into autumn, plague and all. Finally it is the part of the year when we stretch our bat wings and get back into some serious haunting. And to mark this new festive year we at the House of Pomegranates Press will be releasing new beautiful (and quirky) editions of very, very magical books.
Pictured is our Ghosts and Vampires trio. I am so excited about these releases, which featuring illustrations by the very wonderful @gemmaquevedo and, in Dracula, an outrageous and fact-filled afterword by national treasure @derek_mccormack.
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