Arthur Machen | First Editions
1863 - 1947Arthur Machen (3 March 1863 – 15 December 1947) was a Welsh author and mystic of the 1890s and early 20th century. He is best known for his influential supernatural, fantasy, and horror fiction. His novella The Great God Pan (1890; 1894) has garnered a reputation as a classic of horror; indeed, Stephen King has called it "Maybe the best [horror story] in the English language".
Machen's literary significance is substantial; his stories have been translated into many languages and reprinted in short story anthologies countless times. In the sixties, a paperback reprint in the Ballantine Adult Fantasy series brought him to the notice of a new generation. More recently, the small press has continued to keep Machen's work in print. In 2010, to mark the 150 years since Machen’s birth, two volumes of Machen's work were republished in the prestigious Library of Wales series. Literary critics such as Wesley D. Sweetser and S. T. Joshi see Machen's works as a significant part of the late Victorian revival of the gothic novel and the decadent movement of the 1890s, bearing direct comparison to the themes found in contemporary works like Robert Louis Stevenson's Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Bram Stoker's Dracula, and Oscar Wilde's The Picture of Dorian Gray. At the time authors like Wilde, William Butler Yeats, and Arthur Conan Doyle were all admirers of Machen's works. He is also usually noted in the better studies of Anglo-Welsh literature. Historian of fantastic literature Brian Stableford has suggested that Machen "was the first writer of authentically modern horror stories, and his best works must still be reckoned among the finest products of the genre".
See below our stock of Arthur Machen First Editions, fine bindings, sets, and signed copies.
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Newport: R.H. Johns, the "Directory" Press, 1937. [Welsh Fairy Tale] SIGNED LIMITED EDITION. Small quarto (26 x 20cm), pp. 43 . Number 50 of just 220 copies, SIGNED by all the contributors, including the publisher, to the limitation page. With wide marginal illustrations and three full page plates all engraved...
London: The Richards Press, 1951. [Autobiography] FIRST EDITION WITH ASSOCIATED LETTERS. Octavo (21 x 14cm), pp.308. Publisher's red cloth titled in gilt to spine, top-edge red, photographic frontispiece of author, two further photographic plates. Loosely tipped in are three associated items; A letter from Morchand Bishop to News Chronicle journalist...