Haunted by Books
In Haunted by Books Mark Valentine explores the more curious byways of literature. He presents the author who was always being told he had nearly written a masterpiece, and the genius of the short story who brewed his own cider and lived in a railway carriage.
Then there’s the figure of the 1890s, praised by Max Beerbohm, who liked to wander around London wearing horns and chewing railings, and the young man in the 1930s who tried to sell his poetry door to door.
There are also new angles on key figures: the strange case of Robert Aickman, sailor and philosopher; the book that Sax Rohmer really wanted to write; the enigma of Walter de la Mare’s ‘Seaton’s Aunt’.
And there are literary mysteries; what was the MS in a Red Box? Who wrote Shakespeare’s Gunpowder Plot? What became of Dr Ludovicus? Other essays celebrate neglected writers worth discovering, such as Mary Butts, Claude Houghton, and Vernon Knowles, or offer fresh perspectives, looking at Lewis Grassic Gibbon’s fantasies, Malcolm Lowry’s reading in occult fiction. There are even studies of books that were never written.
Haunted by Books will delight all readers and book collectors who like to leave the beaten path and wander in the wild woods, forgotten lanes and lonely houses of literature.
- Studies of Sad Beauty: Robert Aickman, Philip Steegman & Arthington Worsley
- A Dandysme of the Soul: Michael Arlen
- Inner Bohemia: The Mystical Fiction of Mary Butts
- With Whisperings and Mumblings: Walter de la Mare’s ‘Seaton’s Aunt’
- The Stranger Who Opens the Door: The Novels of Claude Houghton
- Goodbye, Mr Fothergill: James Hilton’s Knight Without Armour
- ‘A Demon in Reverse’: Cosnahan’s Magical Influences
- Under This Strange Grey Sky: The Fantasies of Vernon Knowles
- The Writer in the Railway Carriage: H.A. Manhood
- And I’d Be The King of China: The Strange Life of Charles Welsh Mason
- Masks in Flanders: Major Morris’ Lost Classic
- Offerings to Mercury
- Viper in the Temple: The Novels of L.H. Myers
- Lost Radiance: The Fiction of Lewis Grassic Gibbon
- Jerusalem in England: A Note on the Work of L. Furze Morrish
- ‘I Walk Through the World’: The Writings of Geoffrey Pollett
- Mr Shakespeare’s Gunpowder Plot
- The MS in a Red Box
- The Mysteries of the Pomegranate: Sax Rohmer’s The Orchard of Tears
- Possible Masterpieces: The Novels of J.C. Snaith
- The Ultimate Oddness: A Book of Whimsies
- Secret Names: The Hermetic Fiction of Peter Vansittart
- ‘Or Opaline Algol’: A Lost Edwardian Poet
- A Small Place of Worship: The Last of the Johnsonians
- What Became of Dr Ludovicus: Ernest Dowson & Arthur Moore’s Lost Shocker
- Wraiths: Some Lost Poets of the 1890s
- The Piccadilly Goat
- Reviews of Unwritten Books
Mark Valentine is an English author, biographer and editor.
Valentine’s short stories have been published by a number of small presses and in anthologies since the 1980s, and the exploits of his series character, "The Connoisseur", an occult detective, were published as The Collected Connoisseur in 2010.
As a biographer, Valentine has published a life of Arthur Machen in 1985 (Seren Press), and a study of Sarban, Time, A Falconer (Tartarus Press), is published in 2010. He has also written numerous articles for the Book and Magazine Collector magazine, and introductions for various books, including editions of work by Walter de la Mare, Robert Louis Stevenson, Saki, J. Meade Falkner and others.