Writer Violet Paget, raised by unconventional British parents in the south of France, was an engaged feminist who always dressed à la garçonne. She was also an extreme pacifist, held in suspense in England for the duration of the Great European Civil War to stifle her dangerous creativity and muzzle her outspoken voice. Her booksContinue reading “Vernon Lee”
Leroux was the author of such great classics of French literature as The Mystery of the Yellow Room and The Phantom of the Opera. He died tragically of an acute urinary infection before he could enjoy the full fruits of his enormous and lasting success as the creator (or rather popularizer) of the Opera Ghost.Continue reading “Gaston Leroux”
Novelist, historian, and politician John Buchan spent the last five years of his long and productive life as the fifteenth Governor General of the Dominion of Canada. He was also a colonialist, a racist, and an antisemite. His racism and antisemitism were quite casual in nature, the inevitable product of his class, his position, andContinue reading “John Buchan”
Or Margaret, as we are intending to call her these days. Oliphant was one of the most popular, long-lived, and successful lady novelists of the Victorian age, publishing almost one hundred novels across the timely wingspan of six decades. This was quite a (pocket) change from the (nominally) more tragic authors of Jane Eyre andContinue reading “Mrs. Oliphant”
William Sydney Porter never was a shorter Tip he did, and so splendid They said he was a sport. Er… Was it murder, suicide, or unnatural causes? How many short stories did he actually write while he was in New York?
Somerset Maugham, he missed the promHe had a confrontationWith spirit, soul, and Heinrich BöllIn silent conflagration The true origin of Ian Fleming’s James Bond is none other than Somerset Maugham’s Ashenden! Little known fact #62
George Gissing was always missingSomething in his makeupHe dreamt his dreams of all that seemsBut then could never wake up He loved Dickens. But did Dickens love him back?
Arthur Machen was always smackin’ Women mysteriously He helped create modern neopaganism Before joining the Ministry of Truth After the war, he enjoyed a brief resurgence Before taking his final fitting place In the annals of ecstasy and horror
Ambrose Bierce was nothing fierce Except within his cups His swords his wands his demimondes And on occasion tups Conservatives are those with a soft spot for preexisting evils; Liberals in contrast typically exhibit a stronger taste for newer ones. Just ask Colin Dexter and Chief Inspector Morse.
Edgar Poe waxed full of woeHe sang a song of sadnessHe filled his days with minstrel raysHis nights bore down to madness Take this kiss upon thy browAnd in parting from me nowThis much more let me avow: You are wrong should you not deemAll my days to be a dream. Yet if hope isContinue reading “Edgar Allan Poe”