Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Beckoning Fair One


The Beckoning Fair One is a ghost story written by Oliver Onions, who died in 1961. The text is available online. It was published in 1911 in the book Widdershins, which is also available online. You can listen to it here. I enjoyed it. It'd been such a long time since I'd read a short story -and a horror short story at that. This was eerily satisfying. I find myself ready for some short stories after not having read any in decades until this recent return.

LitGothic.com says, "this work is regarded by some — Algernon Blackwood, H. P. Lovecraft, E. F. Bleiler — as one of the very best classical ghost stories in English." Hell Notes says,
Oliver Onions was a master of the supernatural tale. His ghost stories were elegantly written and well plotted, and his characters were fully fleshed. He is known for psychological insight into his characters,
and says this about The Beckoning Fair One: "One of his earliest stories is also his most famous one and is considered by many to be among the finest English supernatural tales."

The online text does have quite a few typos -"N" for "No," "fir" for "for," "rom" for "room" and some punctuation, spacing and capitalization issues, for example. It distracts me but doesn't make the text unreadable. If it were a paper copy, I'd be making physical corrections.

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