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The Secret of the Sangraal
& Other Writings
Introduction by R.B. Russell
No matter what Machen's subject, and at whatever length he wrote, his insightful essays are always original, and his prose is a constant joy to read. This collection of his non-fiction ranges from reminiscences of his early years in London, though folklore and customs, to the legend of the Holy Grail. It collects together all of the essays from Dog and Duck (1924), Notes and Queries (1926), Tom O'Bedlam and His Song (1930), Bridles and Spurs (1951) and A Note on Poetry (1949) as well as a number of other fugitive pieces. It also includes the 'Bibliographical Notes' from Henry Danielson's Arthur Machen: A Bibliography (1923).
The Secret of the Sangraal & Other Writings contains: The Secret of the Sangraal: Introduction and Essay. The Stroller, When I Was Young in London, London Thirty Years Ago, The Joy Of London, Re-Discovery of London, Dog and Duck: Dog and Duck, Why New Year?, On Valentines and Other Things, On Simnel Cakes, 'April Fool!', The Merry Month of May, A Midsummer Night's Dream, July Sport: With Some Remarks on Young Mr Blueface, 'A Thorough Change', Roast Goose: With a Dissertation on Apple Sauce and Sage and Onions, Where are the Fogs of Yesteryears?, Martinmass, Christmas Mumming, A Talk for Twelfth Night, Some February Stars, March and A Moral, St George and the Dragon, The Poor Victorians, Stuff-And Science, On Holidays, Six Dozen of Port, The Custom of the Manor, The Vice of Collecting, Splendour, How to Spend Christmas, Adelphi: Farewell!, The Art of Unbelief, Note. Dr Johnson's Disappearing Act. Notes and Queries: Guinevere and Lancelot, Shakespeare and Shakespere, A New Year Meditation, Casuistry, Superstition-or Instinct?, Imagination and Health, England and Revolution, Celtic Magic, The Holy Graal, Justice, Liberty-and Fallacy?, The Art of Divination, Our Absurd Education, The Cult of the Secret, Rouge et Noir-and the Unknown, The Moth and the Flame, Tom O'Bedlam and His Song, The Only Way. The Gray's Inn Coffee House. Bridles and Spurs: Bridles and Spurs, A Forgotten Book, The Strange Tale of Mount Nephin, Pictures on the Cards, The Ancient Speech, Mutterings in the Dark Grove, The Old Grammar School, Riddles and Symbols, The Holy Grail, The Bitter Impatience, Lost Books, True to Life. A Note on Poetry. Bibliographical Notes (from Danielson's Bibliography)
'...this volume is . . . an indispensable addition to the library of not only the Machen reader but student of weird fiction in general. . . . A sense of pleasure is available in practically every memory or essay put forth. . . . While the pleasure and intellectual worth of such a volume as this should be immediately recognized, one of the chief uses of these writings is the chance for the curious to draw connections between Machen's fiction and life. . . . this carefully assembled collection depicts various sides of Machen's interests and composition styles in one convenient, reasonably priced volume.' William Simmons, Infinityplus
'An antique charm and a dry wit.' The Fortean Times
'The 1990s has seen an uncanny throw-back to those days of sixty years ago with the advent of Ray Russell's Tartarus Press. From modest beginnings Tartarus has blossomed into a comprable literary force, with a special interest in the uniquely endearing Arthur Machen. A previous book by this imprint, Ritual, was certainly one of the most outstanding of Machen publications and it is no faint praise to say that this present volume in some ways even surpasses it.... For those seeking rare and out of print Machen items, this book is a real treasure trove.... The entire volume, beautifully produced, deserves the highest praise and will be indispensable for both the Machen reader and also for those interested in the mysteries of the Sangraal.' Godfrey Brangham, Avallaunius
'Every true Macheniac absolutely must acquire a copy of The Secret of the Sangraal.' Richard Whittinton-Egan
'Beautifully printed on an ivory stock and bound in gold-stamped black cloth.' It Goes on the Shelf
Copyright Tartarus Press 2023