The White People
'The White People ' Summary
The story was written in the late 1890s as part of Machen's struggle to find a direction for a projected novel, other outgrowths of which were published as the novella A Fragment of Life (collected in The House of Souls) and as the collection of prose poems Ornaments in Jade (1924). Machen had read widely in mystical literature and folklore ever since an early employer had set him to work cataloguing occult books, and his learning gave his tale a depth and verisimilitude unusual in such works.
The use of the Green Book as a false document has roots in the Gothic tradition and is similar to the use of such documents by Bram Stoker in Dracula and to H. P. Lovecraft's use of the Necronomicon and Wilbur Whateley's diary in "The Dunwich Horror". Some of the strange words and names in the Green Book are actual occult terms, but most were invented by Machen for the story. Of these, some would be picked up by later authors of weird fiction notably "Aklo", which was used by Lovecraft in connection with the "Sabaoth" invocation in "The Dunwich Horror".
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