Arthur Machen’s 1890’s Notebook edited by The Friends of Arthur Machen
Trade Paperback – Tartarus Press – May 2018 – 347 pages
Arthur Machen’s 1890s notebook, now kept at the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, provides an insight into the mind of Machen during what was arguably the most creative decade of his career as an author.
In the notebook Machen contemplated and abandoned ideas for the novel that was to become The Hill of Dreams, and he also made notes towards the composition of fiction that was eventually to be published as Ornaments in Jade, The White People and A Fragment of Life. In the notebook one may also encounter ideas towards what was to become the novel The Secret Glory.
Machen also made intriguing notes for fiction that was never finished, and explored what constituted Great Literature, a process that contributed towards the composition of Hieroglyphics, his very personal and idiosyncratic book of literary criticism. One can see that this process also helped Machen shape and criticise his own fiction.