Arthur Machen's 1890s Notebook is a paperback reprint of the 2016 edition.
Paperback: £19.95 inc free p&p worldwide
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Arthur Machen's 1890s Notebook
The Friends of Arthur Machen
Arthur Machen’s 1890s notebook, now kept at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, provides an insight into the mind of Machen during what was arguably the most creative decade of his career as an author.
In the notebook Machen contemplated and abandoned ideas for the novel that was to become The Hill of Dreams, and he also made notes towards the composition of fiction that was eventually to be published as Ornaments in Jade, The White People and A Fragment of Life. In the notebook one may also encounter ideas towards what was to become the novel The Secret Glory.
Machen also made intriguing notes for fiction that was never finished, and explored what constituted Great Literature, a process that contributed towards the composition of Hieroglyphics, his very personal and idiosyncratic book of literary criticism. One can see that this process also helped Machen shape and criticise his own fiction.
That Machen’s notebook can be read in an accessible printed volume is down to the admirable efforts of R.B. Russell and Rosalie Parker (of The Friends of Arthur Machen and also Tartarus Press) for whom one suspects it must also have been a labour of love. Assistance with certain finer points was provided by Mark Valentine, James Machin, Jon Preece and William Charlton.
They have performed a fine service. Making sense of Machen’s not always easily readable handwriting (which is reproduced beside typewritten transcriptions) must have been a challenge at times, never mind some of his meanings. And then there’s the astonishing breadth of the material. Not to mention the less than obvious sequencing of some of the pages.
Matthew G. Rees, Horla
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