Book Cover of Arthur Machen


Lifetime: 1863 - 1947 Passed: ≈ 76 years ago


Short Story Writer, Novelist, Journalist, Actor


United Kingdom

Arthur Machen

Arthur Machen, pseudonym of Arthur Llewellyn Jones, Welsh novelist and essayist, a forerunner of 20th-century Gothic science fiction. 


Machen’s work was deeply influenced by his childhood in Wales and his readings in the occult and metaphysics. He lived most of his life in poverty as a clerk, teacher, and translator. In 1902 he became an actor with Benson’s Shakespearean Repertory Company. And, in 1912, approaching his 50th birthday, he joined the staff of the London Evening News. 


The quality of Machen’s writing was demonstrated early in World War I when the newspaper published the short story “The Angel of Mons” from The Bowmen and Other Legends of War (1915), which circulated widely as a true story and gave hope to thousands of soldiers in battle. Like Thomas Hardy, Machen responded to the spiritual power and antiquity of the British countryside. His fantasies are often set in medieval England or Wales, as in the autobiographical The Hill of Dreams (1907), which evokes ancient Roman forts and Welsh mysteries. Even his stories set in London are deeply romantic and nostalgic for a pre-industrial era. Other works include The Terror (1917), The Great God Pan and the Inmost Light (1894), Far Off Things (1922), and Things Near and Far (1923). Machen also translated Casanova’s Memoirs (12 vol., 1930).

Books by Arthur Machen

The White People  Cover image

The White People

Horror Fiction
Gothic Influential Suspense Discovery Classics Sketches Supernatural Fiction

A discussion between two men on the nature of evil leads one of them to reveal a mysterious Green Book he possesses. It is a young girl's diary, in which she describes in ingenuous, evocative prose her strange impressions of the countryside in which...

Ornaments in Jade Cover image

Ornaments in Jade

Horror Fiction
Dream Mystery Narrative Supernatural Fiction Experiments

Ornaments in Jade is a collection of short narrative experiments from Arthur Machen, with ten dreamlike tales that are equal parts enigmatic, sumptuous, and phantasmagoric

Strange Roads & With the Gods in Spring Cover image

Strange Roads & With the Gods in Spring

hunt Young Ancient Journey Short Works God Magic Imagination

In "Strange Roads," Machen weaves a haunting tale about a young man who sets out on a journey to uncover the secrets of the mysterious stone circle known as the "Grey House." As he delves deeper into the unknown, he discovers a world beyond his wilde...

Great God Pan Cover image

Great God Pan

"The Great God Pan" is a novella written by Arthur Machen. A version of the story was published in the magazine Whirlwind in 1890, and Machen revised and extended it for its book publication (together with another story, "The Inmost Light") in 1894....

Angels of Mons Cover image

Angels of Mons

The Angels of Mons is a popular legend about a group of angels who supposedly protected members of the British army in the Battle of Mons at the outset of World War I. The story is fictitious, developed through a combination of a patriotic short stor...

Three Impostors Cover image

Three Impostors

Three friends in a large old dilapidated house are laughing. They seem as giddy as an acting troupe at closing night. But their laughter is callous, cruel; you might say, evil. One of them, a young woman described as piquant rather than beautiful wit...

Hill of Dreams Cover image

Hill of Dreams

The novel recounts the life of a young man, Lucian Taylor, focusing on his dreamy childhood in rural Wales, in a town based on Caerleon. The Hill of Dreams of the title is an old Roman fort where Lucian has strange sensual visions, including ones of...

Terror: A Mystery Cover image

Terror: A Mystery

In rural England during the time of war, a rash of unsolved murders spawns conspiracy theories, paranoia, and fear as they search for a culprit, an explanation, and an end to the terror. - Summary by A. Gramour

Red Hand Cover image

Red Hand

Two London gentlemen ponder the evolution of humankind as they investigate a modern-day murder committed with an ancient tool. - Summary by Wanda White

Great Return Cover image

Great Return

The small Welsh town of Llantrisant has experienced something unusual... Something wonderful... Something even miraculous. It only lasted a few days but has left an indelible mark on the village and the villagers. Just what is this event? Join master...

Shining Pyramid: The Definitive Edition Cover image

Shining Pyramid: The Definitive Edition

For the first time ever, the complete contents of both the 1923 and 1925 editions of The Shining Pyramid are brought together in a single collection. Included are stories and essays that showcase the breath and depth of Arthur Machen's skill as both...