Algernon Blackwood


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Eglantyne Books
25 April 2022
ISBN: 9781913378042

From the publisher

Shocks! published in 1935 was the last collection of short stories by Algernon Blackwood in his lifetime, and it has never been reprinted until now. In the creation of the supernatural, and in the investigation of the paranormal, Blackwood as story-teller remains without a rival. His tales have the eerie uncanny charm of far-off things and of strange new worlds.

The stories in this collection are more mature and profound than many of his earlier stories. Some of them go deeper into the mysteries of other dimensions of reality than ever. Autobiographical experiences are also mingled in the tales: Blackwood himself often spent the night in abandoned haunted houses waiting to record traces of ghosts; in the story where the young man returns penniless from Canada after failing in business there, he is describing himself. There is no doubt that Blackwood often had mystical experiences, and that they inspired many of his tales. He never writes horror but he suggests rather than shows, which was the secret also of Alfred Hitchcock’s success as a film director. If a strange man is seen looking from a window, he is glimpsed so briefly that everything remains uncertain. If one ‘feels a presence’, the expectations rise and rise, as the suspense mounts. Blackwood is the master at describing mental and psychological confusion, or ‘brain fog’, when encountering other realms of being. We can feel the shivers of his haunting uncertainty as he explores the uncanny.

Algernon Blackwood will probably always remain England’s favourite supernatural fiction author.

In addition to the stories, some previously unpublished material has been added at the back of the book, transcribed from recently discovered manuscripts which describe Blackwood acting as a psychic consultant.

‘This beautiful edition is a collectors’ item for all Blackwood fans, but will surely introduce many new readers to one of the most important, and overlooked, writers.  It is a superb tribute to one of the masters of the golden age of supernatural fiction.’ – Kate Mosse

‘Of the quality of Mr. Blackwood’s genius there can be no dispute, for no one has even approached the skill, seriousness, and minute fidelity with which he records the overtones of strangeness in ordinary things and experiences, or the preternatural insight with which he builds up detail by detail the complete sensations and perceptions leading from reality into supernormal life or vision. He is the one absolute master of weird atmosphere.’ – H. P. Lovecraft