Lucy M. Boston (1892–1990) was born in Southport, Lancashire. She studied English at Oxford and served as a nurse in France, before settling in Cheshire towards the end of the First World War. After her marriage broke down in 1935 she trained as a painter in Europe, eventually returning to England on the eve of the Second World War. In 1939 she bought the eleventh century Manor in Hemingford Grey, Cambridgeshire, which was her home and literary inspiration until her death. It is the setting of her much-loved series of Green Knowe novels for children, and is now open to visitors.
Helen Grant has a passion for the Gothic and for ghost stories. Joyce Carol Oates has described her as “a brilliant chronicler of the uncanny as only those who dwell in places of dripping, graylit beauty can be.” A lifelong fan of the ghost story writer M. R. James, she has spoken at two M. R. James conferences and appeared at the Dublin Ghost Story Festival. Helen’s most recent novels are Ghost (2018) and Too Near The Dead (2021) both published by Fledgling Press. She lives in Perthshire with her family, and when not writing, she likes to explore abandoned country houses and swim in freezing lochs.
Thomas Leland (1722-1785) was born in Dublin. Ordained to ministry in the Church of Ireland, his works include History of Philip, King of Macedon (1758), History of Ireland (1773), and a posthumous collection of sermons (1788). His only work of fiction, Longsword, Earl of Salisbury, was published in 1762. It was adapted for stage in 1765 as The Countess of Salisbury by fellow Dubliner Hall Hartson. The play remained popular into the early nineteenth century.
Steve Rasnic Tem is the author of over 400 published short stories and is a past winner of the Bram Stoker, International Horror Guild, British Fantasy, and World Fantasy Awards. His collections include Ugly Behavior (2012), Onion Songs (2013), Celestial Inventories (2013), and Twember (2013). His novels include Daughters (2001) and The Man in the Ceiling (2010, both with Melanie Tem); The Book of Days (2003), Deadfall Hotel (2013), and Blood Kin (2014).
Stephen J. Clark was born in County Durham. His work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies, having been published by Egaeus Press, Side Real Press, and Fulgur Press, among others. Regular collaborations with Tartarus Press have notably featured his cover illustrations for a complete series of Robert Aickman’s strange tales. His debut novel In Delirium’s Circle was released by Egaeus Press in 2012, followed in 2018 by The Feathered Bough, a fully illustrated second novel published by Zagava.
Joel Lane (1963-2013) was born in Exeter, but lived most of his life in Birmingham, where many of his stories are set. In addition to two novels, From Blue to Black (2000) and The Blue Mask (2003), Lane was the author of numerous collections, including the British Fantasy Award-winning The Earth Wire (1994), The Lost District (2006), and The Terrible Changes (2009). Where Furnaces Burn won the World Fantasy Award for best collection in 2013.
Born on the Greek island of Lefkada, Lafcadio Hearn (1850-1904) was brought up in both Ireland and England. At nineteen he emigrated to the United States where he became a journalist. After a sojourn in the French West Indies, he sailed for Japan in 1890. Hearn wrote extensively about his new homeland, its tales, customs, and religions, acting as a bridge between Japan and the Western world. He died in Tokyo where he is buried under his Japanese name, Koizumi Yakumo.
Dreamer, castle builder, archaeologist, and anthropologist, Henry Chapman Mercer (1856-1930) inherited a fortune that fuelled his wanderlust. Mercer was a tireless creative genius who spent his life fulfilling his family motto, Plus ultra—“More Beyond”. He earned a law degree, mastered five languages, supervised archaeological digs around the world, and became a beloved philanthropist in his ancestral home of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. Overshadowed by his many accomplishments is the wonderful but nearly forgotten collection of stories, November Night Tales.
Fritz Leiber was born in Chicago on 24 December 1910. Although trained as an actor, he made his name among the pages of the pulp magazines of the 1930s and ’40s. After a brief correspondence with H.P. Lovecraft, Leiber began writing in earnest, penning classics of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, including Conjure Wife, the Hugo Award-winning Ill Met in Lankhmar, and the pioneering tale of urban supernaturalism “Smoke Ghost”. Leiber passed away in San Francisco in 1992 at the age of eighty-one.
George William Russell (1867-1935)—who published as “A.E.”—was a poet, painter, economist, and mystic. In 1897 he started work with Sir Horace Plunkett’s Irish Agricultural Organisation Society, editing their journal The Irish Homestead. In addition to numerous volumes of poetry, essays, and mystical writings, A.E. also nurtured the careers of Ireland’s most important writers, including Patrick Kavanagh, James Stephens, and James Joyce. Highly regarded in life, on his death A.E.’s funeral cortège was over a mile long.