Book Cover of Oliver Onions


Lifetime: 1873 - 1961 Passed: ≈ 63 years ago




United Kingdom

Oliver Onions

George Oliver Onions, who published under the name Oliver Onions, was an English writer of short stories and over 40 novels. He wrote in various genres, but is perhaps best remembered for his ghost stories, notably the collection Widdershins and the widely anthologized novella "The Beckoning Fair One". He was married to the novelist Berta Ruck.

George Oliver Onions was born on 13 November 1873 in Bradford, Yorkshire, England, to George Frederick Onions, a bank cashier (born 1847, London, England) and Emily Alice Fearnley (born 1850, Scholes, Yorkshire, England). He studied art for three years in London at the National Arts Training Schools (now the Royal College of Art).  In the book Twentieth Century Authors, Onions described his interests as motoring and science; he was also an amateur boxer as a young man.

In 1909, Onions married the writer Berta Ruck (1878–1978) and they had two sons: Arthur (born 1912) and William (born 1913). In 1918, he legally changed his name to George Oliver, but continued to publish under the name Oliver Onions.

He died on 9 April 1961 in Aberystwyth, Wales.

Books by Oliver Onions

The Beckoning Fair One Cover image

The Beckoning Fair One

Horror Fiction
Supernatural Ghost Story

A classic ghost story of a haunted house, and the haunted man who lives in it.

Widdershins  Cover image


Horror Fiction
Single Author Collections Ghost Story Isolation Sanity Supernatural Fiction

Onions wrote several collections of ghost stories, of which the best known is Widdershins (1911). It includes the novella The Beckoning Fair One, widely regarded as one of the best in the genre of horror fiction, especially psychological horror. On t...

Compleat Bachelor Cover image

Compleat Bachelor

George Oliver Onions was a British writer of story collections and over 40 novels…. Onions wrote detective fiction, social comedy, historical fiction and romance novels. This social comedy of late Victorian England is among his first published materi...