Read The Willows (eBook) by Algernon Blackwood Free Online
Book Title: The Willows (eBook)|
The author of the book: Algernon Blackwood
ISBN 13: 9781438568515
Edition: Book Jungle
Date of issue: November 1st 2010
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 962 KB
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Reader ratings: 3.1
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Algernon Henry Blackwood, (1869 -1951) was an English writer of supernatural fiction. Blackwood was also a journalist and a broadcasting narrator. Blackwood had a varied career, farming in Canada, operating a hotel, a newspaper reporter in New York, and essayist for various periodicals. His works included ten collections of short stories, fourteen novels, children's stories, and several plays. Many of his stories reflect his love of nature and the outdoors. His two best-known stories are "The Willows" and "The Wendigo." An excerpt from The Willows reads "They first became properly visible, these huge figures, just within the tops of the bushes -- immense, bronze-colored, moving, and wholly independent of the swaying of the branches. I saw them plainly and noted, now I came to examine them more calmly, that they were very much larger than human, and indeed that something in their appearance proclaimed them to be not human at all. Certainly they were not merely the moving tracery of the branches against the moonlight. They shifted independently. They rose upwards in a continuous stream from earth to sky, vanishing utterly as soon as they reached the dark of the sky. They were interlaced one with another, making a great column, and I saw their limbs and huge bodies melting in and out of each other, forming this serpentine line that bent and swayed and twisted spirally with the contortions of the wind-tossed trees. They were nude, fluid shapes, passing up the bushes, within the leaves almost - rising up in a living column into the heavens. Their faces I never could see. Unceasingly they poured upwards, swaying in great bending curves, with a hue of dull bronze upon their skins . . .. For the longer I looked the more certain I became that these figures were real and living, though perhaps not according to the standards that the camera and the biologist would insist upon."
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Read information about the authorBlackwood was born in Shooter's Hill (today part of south-east London, but then part of northwest Kent) and educated at Wellington College. His father was a Post Office administrator who, according to Peter Penzoldt, "though not devoid of genuine good-heartedness, had appallingly narrow religious ideas." Blackwood had a varied career, farming in Canada, operating a hotel, as a newspaper reporter in New York City, and, throughout his adult life, an occasional essayist for various periodicals. In his late thirties, he moved back to England and started to write stories of the supernatural. He was very successful, writing at least ten original collections of short stories and eventually appearing on both radio and television to tell them. He also wrote fourteen novels, several children's books, and a number of plays, most of which were produced but not published. He was an avid lover of nature and the outdoors, and many of his stories reflect this.
English writer of ghost stories and supernatural fiction, of whom Lovecraft wrote: "He is the one absolute and unquestioned master of weird atmosphere." His powerful story "The Willows," which effectively describes another dimension impinging upon our own, was reckoned by Lovecraft to be not only "foremost of all" Blackwood's tales but the best "weird tale" of all time. (Unfortunately, Blackwood, who was familiar with Lovecraft's work, failed to return the compliment. As he told Peter Penzoldt, he found "spiritual terror" missing in his young admirer's writing, something he considered all-important in his own.)
Among his thirty-odd books, Blackwood wrote a series of stories and short novels published as John Silence, Physician Extraordinary (1908), which featured a "psychic detective" who combined the skills of a Sherlock Holmes and a psychic medium. Blackwood also wrote light fantasy and juvenile books.
The son of a preacher, Blackwood had a life-long interest in the supernatural, the occult, and spiritualism, and firmly believed that humans possess latent psychic powers. The autobiography Episodes Before Thirty (1923) tells of his lean years as a journalist in New York. In the late 1940s, Blackwood had a television program on the BBC on which he read . . . ghost stories!
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