Tag Archives: Werewolves

All Souls’ Night (1933) by Hugh Walpole

hugh_walpole_001

Hugh Walpole (1884-1941) was a prolific and hugely popular writer who wrote in many genres, and whose early realist novels were nurtured by a friendship with Henry James. He also wrote popular fiction for a juvenile readership, along with historical romances for older readers. His career as a writer was a refuge from an emotionally traumatic youth and young manhood, in which he grappled with an unhappy school life, latent homosexuality (including an early and powerful crush on fellow ghost-story writer and mentor A.C. Benson) and a waning religious faith that put paid to his father’s ambitions for his son to join him in a clerical career. Walpole earned critical and commercial success as a professional writer, but this was only one aspect of an eventful, if tragically short life – so much so that it’s hard to summarise here. His Wikipedia page is worth a look for his wartime activities alone, and I shall certainly be reading more by Walpole in the future, beyond the supernatural stories, which were the only part of his life and work I had so far been familiar with.

Since his death, Walpole has come to be recognised as a master of the supernatural tale and a staple of ghost story anthologies. His 1933 collection All Souls’ Night contains sixteen examples – including such well-known stories as ‘The Little Ghost’, ‘The Silver Mask’ and the werewolf narrative ‘Tarnhelm’.

All Souls’ Night [Kindle]

All Souls’ Night [Epub]

All Souls’ Night [PDF]

IMPORTANT NOTE: Unfortunately, this work is not in the public domain in the U.S.A. – in order to comply with United States copyright legislation, readers in that country should not download the ebook. The book is available to purchase from Valancourt Books, in an edition which includes a scholarly introduction by John Howard.

walpole6

Advertisements

The Phantom Ship (1839) by Captain Frederick Marryat

Frederick_Marryat_by_John_Simpson

Captain Frederick Marryat (1792-1848) was an experienced and highly-regarded naval officer, who had fought with distinction in the Napoleonic wars, during which career he also invented a maritime flag signalling system, which bears his name and is still widely used. As if this weren’t enough, he was also a prolific writer of fiction, wildly popular during the nineteenth century and hugely influential in the adventure genre. He is perhaps best known today for his children’s novels, Mr Midshipman Easy (1836) and The Children of the New Forest (1847).

phantomship00marr_0012      The_Phantom_Ship_-_1847_frontispiece

The Phantom Ship (1839) is his only overtly supernatural novel. It is based on the legend of the Flying Dutchman – a ghostly vessel cursed to sail around the Cape of Good Hope for all eternity. The novel is a sort of sequel to the legend, in which Philip Vanderdecken, the son of the ship’s Dutch captain, battles to save his father from the curse. One particularly memorable section involves an insert story featuring a werewolf, which has been widely anthologised as ‘The White Wolf of the Hartz Mountains’.

The Phantom Ship [Kindle]

The Phantom Ship [Epub]

The Phantom Ship [PDF]

Dracula’s Guest (1914) by Bram Stoker

Draculasguest

Stoker’s posthumous collection of uncollected tales includes a ‘deleted scene’ from his best known novel Dracula (1897), in which Jonathan Harker has a close encounter with a werewolf. The collection also contains ‘The Judge’s House’, a highly regarded haunted house mystery heavily influenced by the work of Stoker’s fellow Irishman Sheridan Le Fanu. The collection’s Wikipedia page contains details of the stories’ original periodical publication, where known.

Dracula’s Guest [Kindle]

Dracula’s Guest [Epub]

Dracula’s Guest [PDF]

DRAC1

Critical edition:

Dracula’s Guest and Other Weird Stories, edited by Kate Hebblethwaite (Penguin, 2006)

Biography:

Lisa Hopkins, Bram Stoker: A Literary Life (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007)

Critical studies (selected):

Carol A. Senf, Bram Stoker (Gothic Texts: Critical Revisions (University of Wales Press, 2010)

Bram Stoker’s Notes for Dracula: A Facsimile Edition, edited by Robert Eighteen-Bisang and Elizabeth Miller (McFarland, 2008)

David Glover, Vampires, Mummies and Liberals: Bram Stoker and the Politics of Popular Fiction (Duke University Press, 1996)

The Door of the Unreal (1919) by Gerald Biss

Door of the Unreal 1

“I, a strange American in London, advancing a theory so bizarre as to astound even the heads of Scotland Yard!”

A classic of werewolf fiction, this was crime writer Gerald Biss’s only supernatural novel. Having greatly admired Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1897), Biss uses a similar technique of presenting a casebook of ‘evidence’ to place an ancient evil convincingly within a thoroughly modern England. In doing so, Biss turns the werewolf into a threatening symbol of a regressive past, returning to invade a progressive, modern civilization in which urban expansion is on the increase and whose symbol is the ubiquitous motor car. As with Stoker’s vampire Biss’s werewolf is also a figure of the invading foreigner. The theme is especially resonant in Biss’s novel which, in the immediate aftermath of the First World War, presents its readers with a band of British and American allies who come together to fend off a German invasion of a different sort!

The Door of the Unreal [Kindle]

The Door of the Unreal [Epub]

The Door of the Unreal [PDF]

Biss’s major source was the dubious (but entertaining) account of werewolf lore compiled by the paranormal investigator, author and perennial teller of tall tales, Elliott O’Donnell. This can be downloaded from Project Gutenberg.

More information about Gerald Biss is available on the Bear Alley blog

The text is taken from Daniel Correll’s website – a splendid collection of horror fiction formatted in HTML. My grateful thanks for his permission to use his work as the basis for the edition provided here.