Amyas Northcote’s collection of ghost stories, his only published fictional work, was published by John Lane in 1921 (although the first edition is dated 1922). Northcote was the son of a wealthy Tory politician, Sir Stafford Northcote. After emigrating to America and marrying, he returned to England in the early 1900s and became a Justice of the Peace in Buckinghamshire. He died suddenly in 1923.
Despite producing only a handful of stories, his single collection is strikingly varied – ‘The House in the Woods’ and ‘The Young Lady in Black’ evoke the sentimental Victorian ghost stories of Margaret Oliphant and Isabella Banks, while the similarly titled ‘In the Woods’ is firmly in the tradition of the Pan-worship fashionable in the early twentieth century; ‘Mr Mortimer’s Diary’ might have come from the antiquarian mind of M.R. James, while the longest tale in the collection, ‘Mr Oliver Carmichel’ resembles a retelling of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde along theosophical lines. My personal favourite is ‘The Late Mrs Fowke’ – an unusual and highly effective werewolf story.