“Editor’s Note” – Brian J. Showers
“Introduction to The Second Ghost Book” – Elizabeth Bowen
“Experience of the Cholera in Ireland 1832” – Charlotte Stoker
“Mistress of the Macabre: Rosa Mulholland” – Richard Dalby
“Hauntings and Haunted: Charlotte Riddell’s Weird Stories” – Mike Barrett
“A Chronology of Mrs. Riddell’s Spectral Fiction” – Mike Barrett
“Introduction to ‘The Boys’ Room'” – Terri Neil
“The Boys’ Room” – Dorothy Macardle
“The Call of the Sí: Irish Supernatural Literature and Folklore in the Fiction of Caitlín R. Kiernan” – James Goho
“Uncanny Irish-American Relations: Elizabeth Bowen and Shirley Jackson” – Edwina Keown and Bernice M. Murphy
“The Big House” – Elizabeth Bowen
R. B. Kelly’s Edge of Heaven – John Howard
The Stinging Fly 35 – Jim Rockhill
Caroline Barry’s The Dolocher – Maria Giakaniki
Big Telly Theatre Company’s The Faerie Thorn – Reggie Chamberlain-King
Elizabeth McCarthy and Bernice M. Murphy’s Lost Souls of Horror and the Gothic – Stefan Dziemanowicz
“Notes on Contributors”
Editor’s Note #9
“Ghosts draw us together: one might leave it at that.” – Elizabeth Bowen
Twenty-five years after Lady Cynthia Asquith edited her classic anthology The Ghost Book (1926), she followed it up with The Second Ghost Book, a decidedly more modern grouping of uncanny tales written by some of the most eminent authors of the era: Walter de la Mare, V.S. Pritchett, and Rose Macaulay among others. For this second anthology Asquith also approached her close friend and one-time London neighbour Elizabeth Bowen, not just for a story—the now much-anthologised “Hand in Glove”—but Asquith also requested that she write the introduction as well. Bowen obliged.
By the time The Second Ghost Book was published in 1952, Bowen was already an established novelist, rightly lauded for titles such as The Last September (1929) and The Heat of the Day (1948); both books being weighty explorations of relationships set against the background of war and conflict. Nonetheless, Bowen’s decision to make a contribution to and pen the introduction for a popular ghost story anthology is unsurprising. Her earliest collections are littered with treatments of the uncanny, perhaps culminating with the superb collection, The Demon Lover and Other Stories (1945). And so this issue opens with Bowen’s still insightful introduction to The Second Ghost Book—a treatise on a literary form that she no doubt took as seriously as any other.
Similar to Bowen, two other authors discussed in this issue primarily wrote for mainstream audiences: Rosa Mulholland and Charlotte Riddell. And yet the supernatural crept into their stories in no small way to the extent that, when they are read today, it is usually for their spectral offerings. Likewise, Dorothy Macardle is now remembered for The Irish Republic (1937)—a lengthy treatise on Ireland’s War of Independence and subsequent Civil War. But she also held a lifelong fascination for psychic phenomena, as did many of her generation. This interest crept not only into her novels and short stories, including her first collection Earth-Bound (1924), but also into the hitherto unpublished radio broadcast, “The Boys’ Room”, written in the last decade of her life, which we’re proud to present in this issue.
Also in this issue you’ll find a survey of Caitlín R. Kiernan’s fiction influenced by Irish supernatural literature and folklore. Like Bowen, Kiernan works in the tradition of the modern uncanny tale, adapting themes for today’s concerns as Bowen had for the “changing world conditions” of her own era.
Finally, I would like to dedicate this issue to the memory of Richard Dalby (1949-2017). Richard’s enthusiasm and support for this journal were evident even before the first issue. I will miss his scholarship, advice, and passion.
Brian J. Showers
21 July 2017
Brian J. Showers
Brian J. Showers is originally from Madison, Wisconsin. He has written short stories, articles, and reviews for magazines such as Rue Morgue, Ghosts & Scholars, and Supernatural Tales. His short story collection, The Bleeding Horse, won the Children of the Night Award in 2008. He is also the author of Literary Walking Tours of Gothic Dublin (2006), the co-editor of Reflections in a Glass Darkly: Essays on J. Sheridan Le Fanu (2011), and the editor of The Green Book. Showers also edited four volumes of Uncertainties anthology series, and co-edited with Jim Rockhill, the Ghost Story Award-winning anthology Dreams of Shadow and Smoke. He lives in Dublin, Ireland.
The Green Book 9 (Bealtaine 2017) edited by Brian J. Showers. Cover photograph of Constance Markievicz; cover design by Meggan Kehrli; editor’s note by Brian J. Showers; copyedited by Jim Rockhill; typeset by Ken Mackenzie; published by Swan River Press.
Paperback: Published on 8 September 2017; limited to 250 copies; 108 pages; digitally printed on 80 gsm paper; ISSN: 2009-6089.
About The Green Book
Aimed at a general readership and published twice-yearly, The Green Book is Swan River Press’s house journal that features commentaries, articles, and reviews on Irish Gothic, Supernatural and Fantastic literature.
Certainly favourites such as Bram Stoker and John Connolly will come to mind, but hopefully The Green Book also will serve as a pathway to Ireland’s other notable fantasists: like Fitz-James O’Brien, Charlotte Riddell, Lafcadio Hearn, William Allingham, J. Sheridan Le Fanu, Cheiro, Harry Clarke, Dorothy Macardle, Lord Dunsany, Elizabeth Bowen, C. S. Lewis, Mervyn Wall, Conor McPherson . . . and this list is by no means exhaustive.
It should be noted that the word “Irish” in the journal’s title should be understood as inclusive rather than exclusive. The Green Book will also feature essays on Irish themes—even if by non-Irish authors. We hope that you will find something of interest here, for there is much to explore.
The Green Book is open for submissions.
Praise for The Green Book
“A welcome addition to the realm of accessible nonfiction about supernatural horror.” – Ellen Datlow
“Serious aficionados of the weird should also consider subscribing to The Green Book.” – Michael Dirda
“An exceptionally well-produced periodical.” – S. T. Joshi
“[A] wonderful exploration of a weird little corner of literature, and a great example of how careful editing can make even the most obscure subject fascinating and entertaining beyond all expectations.” – The Agony Column
“Eminently readable . . . [an] engaging little journal that treads the path between accessibility and academic depth with real panache.” – Black Static
“The overall feel here is not of fusty excavation in a small corner of the literary world, but of exploration on a broad front that continues to unearth intriguing finds.” – Supernatural Tales