Why did W.B. Yeats want a hair from the head of Aleister Crowley, and how did the artist Althea Gyles get it for him? What was the terrible lesson learned by scholar and demonologist the Reverend Montague Summers? Why was Sherlock Holmes reticent about his college years? Which unlikely chronicler of the decadents numbered among his friends Christine Keeler, Sir Oswald Mosely, Colin Wilson and an assortment of beat poets?
This volume is a tribute to Roger Dobson (1954-2013), who had a keen eye for the strangest outposts of literature. The twenty essays offered here demonstrate why the eminent Spanish novelist Javier Marias described Dobson as ‘a remarkable man’, recondite and bookish. Readers will encounter kings, priests, tragic poets, dandies, and forgotten authors whose rare works should be better known. Several pieces track Arthur Machen’s characters through the great mystery of London, rediscovering their lairs and lost haunts, and there are vivid studies of M.P. Shiel, Bulwer Lytton, George Gissing, Jocelyn Brooke and others. The collection will delight all connoisseurs of fantastic, supernatural and outré literature. 280 Pages.