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Ebook Widdershins (Alan Rodgers Books) by Oliver Onions read! Book Title: Widdershins (Alan Rodgers Books)
The author of the book: Oliver Onions
ISBN: 1598188305
ISBN 13: 9781598188301
Language: English
Edition: Aegypan
Date of issue: June 1st 2006
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 748 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 2095 times
Reader ratings: 7.4

Read full description of the books:

The Edwardian era was the last great period of the English ghost story, and Oliver Onion's Widdershins is one of the classic collections of the age. Although each of the nine stories here is worth reading, the collection is famous because of "The Beckoning Fair One," a novella of ghostly obsession and mental disintegration almost as powerful as Henry James' "The Turn of the Screw."

Onions was a Yorkshireman of modest means, raised in the city of Bradford. Although he attended art school in London and Paris, and began his working life as a poster artist and magazine illustrator, he decided in his late twenties that writing might be a more lucrative occupation. He produced forty novels and numerous short stories in the course of his career; in his early years he was admired--and also criticized--as a grim realist, but today he is known primarily for his ghost stories, particularly "The Beckoning Fair One."

"The Beckoning Fair One" depicts the struggle for the soul of Oleron, a serious novelist, between the lady journalist Miss Bengough who loves him and "the Beckoning Fair One," a ghost the novelist believes inhabits his rented house, a presence he identifies with Romilly, the heroine of the book he is currently writing. Its theme is the conflict that pits human love and the comforts of work against the seductive promises of the unbridled imagination. Given that Onions was a prolific--and conscientious--writer toiling for a paycheck, married to another prolific writer also toiling for a paycheck (Bertha Ruck, who lived to be a hundred and produced more than fifty romance novels), is it surprising that this conflict would interest him as an idea for fiction?

Indeed, many stories in this collection have similar themes: an inspired artist or designer--a writer, a painter, a sculptor, a naval inventor, an engineer, an imaginative young woman--is contrasted with a less imaginative but more psychologically balanced professional. In most cases--as in "The Beckoning Fair One," the story ends with the more instinctive and inspired of the two of them becoming increasingly isolated and alone.

Three of my favorites in this exemplary collection: "Hic Jacet," in which a hack mystery author has difficulty completing the biography of his friend, a painter of genius; "Io," in which a young woman turns into a maenad before her prosaic young man's uncomprehending eyes; and "The Cigarette Case," involving a evening idyll spent by two young gentleman with two charming ladies, and which features an object--the aforementioned cigarette case--dislocated in time.

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Read information about the author

Ebook Widdershins (Alan Rodgers Books) read Online! Oliver Onions was born in Bradford in 1873. Although he legally changed his name to George Oliver in 1918, he always published under the name Oliver Onions. Onions originally worked as a commercial artist before turning to writing, and the dust jackets of his earliest works included illustrations painted by Onions himself.

Onions was a prolific writer of short stories and novels and is best remembered today for his ghost stories, the most famous of which is probably ‘The Beckoning Fair One’, originally published in Widdershins (1911). Despite being known today chiefly for his supernatural short fiction, Onions also published more than a dozen novels in a variety of genres, including In Accordance with the Evidence (1912), The Tower of Oblivion (1921), The Hand of Kornelius Voyt (1939), The Story of Ragged Robyn (1945), and Poor Man's Tapestry (1946), which won the prestigious James Tait Black Memorial Prize as the best work of fiction published that year.

Onions was apparently a very private individual, and though admired and well-respected in his time, he appears not to have moved in literary circles, and few personal memoirs of him survive. He spent most of his later life in Wales, where he lived with his wife, Berta Ruck (1878-1978), herself a prolific and popular novelist; they had two sons, Arthur (b. 1912) and William (b. 1913). Oliver Onions died in 1961.

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