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The Green Book 21

The Green Book 21

Bealtaine 2023

Brian J. Showers (ed.)

Availability: In Print

The centrepiece of this issue is undoubtedly Althea Gyles’s “A Woman Without a Soul”, which, to my knowledge, has never before seen print. This story is mentioned often in the scant scholarship on Althea Gyles (1867-1949) that exists, with most critics curiously referring to the piece as an unpublished “novel” or sometimes “novella”. At just over seven thousand words, it is assuredly a short story—and an intriguing one at that. In his critical profile of Gyles in The Green Book 20, Simon Cooke calls the story a Faustian tale of necromancy and obsession; other scholars have likened “A Woman Without a Soul” to The Picture of Dorian Gray (1890) by Oscar Wilde, whom Gyles befriended in Paris after an introduction from publisher Leonard Smithers. Kristin Mahoney, in her excellent Literature and the Politics of Post-Victorian Decadence, goes so far as to write that the story “reads much like a revision of The Picture of Dorian Gray, a feminized retelling of one of Wilde’s most significant works”. Suffice to say, I’m pleased to be able to present this hitherto unpublished story—after patient and careful transcription by Jim Rockhill—to The Green Book’s readership.

Paperback edition limited to 250 copies.

Cover art by Norman Keene
Editor’s Note by Brian J. Showers

ISSN: 2009-6089 (pbk)