A special volume of tales of ghosts and horrors with an often nautical flavour
Rarely is a story so well-known and highly regarded that it eclipses the identity of the author who was responsible for creating it. That may be true however of the macabre short story ‘The Monkey’s Paw’. Written in 1902, it tells of a charmed disembodied monkey paw which has the power to grant three wishes, one of which, imprudently made, unleashes an abomination. This famous story’s author was, of course, William Wymark (W. W.) Jacobs, a British writer and native the dockland area of Wapping in London’s East End, whose main body of work was humorous rather than horrific and whose particular taste, perhaps understandably, was for fiction that featured ships and their sailors. Nevertheless, Jacobs penned a respectable collection of chilling supernatural short stories during his long career, In addition to the indispensable ‘The Monkeys Paw’, readers will discover ‘In Mid-Atlantic’, ‘Over the Side’, ‘The Ghost of Jerry Bundler’ (which was also performed on the stage), ‘The Well’, ‘The Interruption’ and many other stories to entertain and send a shiver down the spine of the reader.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.
This volume contains the ghostly tales of the British writer W. W. Jacobs (1863–1943), best known for the immortal classic “The Monkey’s Paw.” But Jacobs wrote many other weird tales throughout the course of his life, many of them set on the high seas. Jacobs was best known in his time as a comic writer, and he fuses humor and weirdness with a deft touch. This volume is the first to include Jacobs’s complete weird writing—and also includes two dramatic adaptations of his stories as well as Louis N. Parker’s celebrated dramatization of “The Monkey’s Paw.”
The Classics of Gothic Horror series seeks to reprint novels and stories from the leading writers of weird fiction over the past two centuries or more. Ever since the Gothic novels of the late 18th century, supernatural horror has been a slender but provocative contribution to Western literature. Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, the Victorian ghost story writers, the “titans” of the early twentieth century (Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, Lord Dunsany, M. R. James, H. P. Lovecraft), the Weird Tales writers, and many others contributed to the development and enrichment of weird fiction as a literary genre, and their work deserves to be enshrined in comprehensive, textually accurate editions.
S. T. Joshi, a leading authority on weird fiction, has done exactly that in establishing this series. Using scholarly resources honed over decades of wide-ranging research, he has assembled volumes featuring not only the complete weird writings of the authors in question, but exhaustive bio-critical introductions and bibliographical data.
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