Saturday, 3 March 2018

Arthur Machen's 'The White People'

Born 155 years ago today Arthur Machen was a Welsh writer and mystic;  the vicar's son from the former Roman settlement of Caerleon in Monmouthshire who transformed a Celtic pagan sensibility and a love of the bucolic and the arcane mysteries of his rural childhood home into an array of bewitching and beguiling stories.

Never one for anything as simple as a ghost story Machen's fiction tells of places and people outside of the normal, of contact with the ephemeral and of the importance of the mystical.

Of all his works there are perhaps three that stand above all others. His debut novella 'The Great God Pan', his semi-autobiographical novel 'The Hill of Dreams' and the terrifying supernatural masterclass of 'The White People'.

I heartily recommend that you track down and read all of these (especially the last as it's my personal favourite) but in the meantime I thought I would share with you this lovely video by Rosalie Parker and Ray Russell of Tartarus Press who here present an abridged reading of 'The White People' augmented by music from Ray.

'The White People' is included alongside many other core Machen stories in this lovely collection from Penguin Classics - The White People and Other Weird Stories (Penguin Modern Classics)


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