The Centipede Press Library of Weird Fiction - Algernon Blackwood

This lavish book was originally published as a limited edition of some two hundred copies in 2014. At the time, it was very expensive and sold out quickly. The small press responsible decided to release a smaller edition (in physical size) so that it would be more easily accessible to readers. This also meant the price was much more reasonable. I am glad they did this as it has allowed me to collect together a number of the author’s pieces that are not available in other editions - one in particular ‘A Descent into Egypt’ has been particularly hard for me to find. Others like ‘The Wings of Horus’ can be found elsewhere but not easily and this collection is a fine way to have lots of elusive pieces all gathered together in one place.

Algernon Blackwood was an English writer who belongs to a genre that can only be described as ‘Weird Fiction'. He is joined by other writers from the time such as H.P Lovecraft and Arthur Machen. As an aside, both these writers have also received attention from Centipede Press and you can easily find nicely bound collections of some of their best works.

Blackwood’s style is one that may not find a willing audience today because the narrative can sometimes seem slowly paced and somewhat stuffy. One has to remember that he was writing in both the Victorian &  Edwardian periods. It was a very different world then and people did not have the distractions of our modern society. A book was a major form of entertainment. Blackwood was a true master at weaving tales that were haunting and unnerving. The collection also includes ‘The Willows’ which is one of the finest tales ever written in weird literature.