cover image Damnable Tales: A Folk Horror Anthology

Damnable Tales: A Folk Horror Anthology

Edited and Illus. by Richard Wells. Unbound, $19.95 trade paper (448p) ISBN 978-1-80018-182-3

Anthologies don’t get much better than this masterful assembly of 23 horror shorts, first published between 1872 and 1964. Wells spotlights some of the usual suspects—including M.R. James, Arthur Machen, and Algernon Blackwood—alongside relative unknowns like L.T.C. Rolt and Bernard Capes, producing a complete package that will delight and surprise genre fans. Every story combines evocative prose with genuine chills, facilitating belief in the supernatural by dint of carefully painted word-pictures, whether of a dream (as in “The Withered Arm” by Thomas Hardy), or an isolated landscape (in “Gavon’s Eve” by E.F. Benson). Edith Nesbit especially stands out with “Man-Size in Marble,” the tale of a tragic young couple, which opens with the tantalizing line, “Although every word of this story is as true as despair, I do not expect people to believe it.” This is a book that demands to be read aloud—perhaps on a darkening winter evening before a roaring fire. (Sept.)