" ... compellingly readable ... a fine and candid biography." -- Mike Barrett, The New York Review of Science Fiction
"Billings's exhaustive multivolume study... is a solid work of biographical reconstruction." -- Publishers Weekly
"Certainly one of the most important studies in weird fiction to be published this year ... There is much new detail and unexpected discoveries. Lucidly written, carefully researched and sympathetic but not uncritical ... the book ought to be on the shelves of any enthusiast or scholar of fin-de-siecle and 20th century British fantasy." -- Mark Valentine, Wormwood
M. P. Shiel:
The Middle Years 1897 – 1923
by Harold Billings
ROGER BEACHAM PUBL1SHER, Austin, Texas
Available 15 November 2010!
The first volume of this biography of the British fantasist M. P. Shiel ("His Early Years") described his West Indian ancestry, his beautiful birthplace -- that slumbering sulfur monster Montserrat -- and those years that led him to England in 1885 and the beginnings of his career there as a young school teacher and author.
This second volume ("The Middle Years: 1897-1923") selects a few facts from the early years, and with fresh information, more fully develops Shiel's career as an author of serial fiction, supernatural short stories, and prophetic novels by which he is recalled today. Access to extensive correspondence from Shiel's personal archives, from family records of persons closely associated with him, and the archives of his publishers and literary agents have provided the basis for a deeper look into this man whose publisher, Grant Richards, described as "extraordinarily clever and a little mad."
His wild imagination as an author, several deeply human love affairs, a supremely intense ego, a revealed decadence, mark this period in his life and are shaped in this biography. The rich detail in the present volume answers questions that have existed for over a hundred years, surprising, not always pleasant.
6"x9" 384 pages with 24 pages of original photographs.
Trade Paper Edition of 100 copies, ISBN 978-0-9766044-4-0, $29.95.
Hardbound Edition of 50 signed and numbered copies, ISBN 978-0-9766044-5-7, $65.95.
Copies are available from the author and from JDS Books.
Shipping and Handling is $4.00 for domestic and $15.00 for foreign orders.
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