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Arthur MacHen

A Novelist of Ecstasy and Sin

204 pages
Library of Alexandria
With singular unanimity critics for thirty years have slighted the work of Arthur Machen. A line suffices for him in Holbrook Jackson's "The Eighteen Nineties," and Mr. Blaikie-Murdoch ignores him completely in "The Renaissance of the Nineties"; yet those are the standard works on the period to which, chronologically, at least, Machen belongs. Mr. Turquet-Milnes, with greater appreciation, gives him a half-chapter in his scholarly work, "The Influence of Baudelaire," but even that is made up largely of quotations from "The Hill of Dreams," to prove Machen a descendent of Baudelaire—an error to which I subscribed until Machen himself disillusioned me, although the assertion is still partially true. Because, in my opinion, Arthur Machen is the outstanding artist of his time, and one of the great masters of all time, I wrote the following paper, which first appeared in Reedy's Mirror for October 5, 1917. That issue is not now obtainable, and, as calls for it continue to come to me and to the publisher, I find ground for a belief that Machen may, at length, be coming into his own, a tardy phenomenon which I am happy to hasten so far as it lies within my power. Mr. Walter M. Hill shares this feeling and this brochure is the result. I am indebted to Mr. William Marion Reedy for permission to reprint those parts of the article which appeared in his journal. V.S