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The Green Book 20

The Green Book 20

With this issue, we offer another ten profiles of Irish writers of gothic, supernatural, and fantastic fiction. The two most notable writers this issue—and therefore lengthiest entries—are, of course, Charlotte Riddell (1832-1906) and Bram Stoker (1847-1912). Along with names like Charles Maturin, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, and Lord Dunsany, Riddell and Stoker might be considered pillars of Irish fiction. It might even be said that Dracula (1897), for better or for worse, is a key text of world literature and beyond. After all, who would not recognise the Lugosi-inflected visage of Stoker’s infamous Count? John Edgar Browning has shown in …

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The Green Book Bundle

The Green Book Bundle

Want to start reading issues of The Green Book, but don’t know where to start? We’re offering a special discount: 5 issues for €60 EUR. Just order by using the PayPal button at the left, then contact us to let us know which five issues you want. Or wait for us to email you and ask after you’ve placed the order (this might not happen immediately). This offer is inclusive of domestic and international shipping. The most recent issue is not included in this offer. Out of print issues are also not included in this offer. Obviously, right? You may …

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The Green Book 19

The Green Book 19

“Probably there has never been in any country,” wrote John Eglinton in his Memoir of A.E. (1937), “a period of literary activity which has not been preceded or accompanied by some stimulation of the religious interest. Anyone in search of this in Ireland at this time may find it if he looks for it, though he certainly will not find it in either the Catholic or the various Protestant religious bodies: he will find it, unless he disdains to look in that direction, in the ferment caused in the minds of a group of young men by the early activities …

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The Green Book 18

The Green Book 18

This issue is another selection of profiles from our tentatively named Guide to Irish Writers of Gothic, Supernatural and Fantastic Literature. The keen-eyed will spot one name that might seem out of place: Harry Clarke (1889-1931). Clarke, of course, was not a writer, but an artist who worked in watercolour, pen and ink, and stained glass. As an illustrator, Clarke put his indelible mark on literature of the macabre and fantastic. His best-known illustrations are those accompanying Edgar Allan Poe’s Tales of Mystery and Imagination (1919/23), though his illustrations for Andersen, Perrault, and Swinburne also bear hallmarks of the strange. …

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The Green Book 17

The Green Book 17

As it turned out, Issue 15, which was comprised entirely of fiction, proved to be quite popular. So I had a look in my files to see if I could put together another such issue of refugee writings that did not fit elsewhere in our publishing schedule. Let the curtains rise on Oscar Wilde’s “The Harlot’s House”, first published in The Dramatic Review (11 April 1885), which publisher Leonard Smither’s notes is “not included in the edition of his collected Poems”—I assume a reference to the volume issued by Elkin Mathews and John Lane in 1892. While “The Harlot’s House” …

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The Green Book 16

The Green Book 16

Here we are, after a brief hiatus, with the continued serialisation of the Guide to Irish Writers of Gothic, Supernatural and Fantastic Literature, which I am co-editing with my long-time collaborator Jim Rockhill. (How many years has it been now, Jim?) This is a project we started work on sometime in 2017—although it’s something we had talked about for longer than that. Our goal is to create a resource for both readers and scholars, not unlike E. F. Bleiler’s Supernatural Fiction Writers (1985), showing the rich extent of Ireland’s contributions to supernatural literature and its related genres. The first entries …

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The Green Book 15

The Green Book 15

In our previous issue, we focused on the lives of writers, featuring as we did reminiscences, interviews, and memoirs. For this issue I’d like to do something different. While we have featured occasional pieces of fiction in previous issues, including “Saved by a Ghost” by Bram Stoker in Issue 6 and “The Boys’ Room” by Dorothy Macardle in Issue 9, I’ve decided this time around to turn over the entire issue to fiction. Consider this issue a special anthology issue, and an eclectic one at that. There is little to tie these pieces together, save for the fact each author …

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The Green Book 14

The Green Book 14

We encounter and enjoy authors mostly through their writing, forgetting sometimes that there are personalities behind their words, some astonishingly well-known in their time, often now relegated to small press rediscoveries. With sufficient spans of years, these authors and their personalities pass out of memory, becoming less familiar to us as people and more so as names on title pages. But it is important to remember that these authors lived and worked, had careers and relationships; some of them died while relatively unknown, others were widely celebrated for their creations. With this in mind, I’ve decided to focus the current …

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The Green Book 13

The Green Book 13

One perennial question about genre fiction centres around the notion of “tradition”: the influence authors and their works have on the next generation, and so on down the line. In posing this question, we ask whether or not an unbroken literary pedigree can be established. For example, an excessive amount of energy has been expended exploring links, both legitimate and spurious, between Le Fanu’s “Carmilla” (1871/2) and Stoker’s Dracula (1897)—and believe me, this seems to be an all-consuming pastime for some. But to me, Irish genre fiction has always seemed more a web of thematic shadows, authorial echoes, even social …

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The Green Book 12

The Green Book 12

“Ireland’s contributions to supernatural literature has been a major one and, like its contribution to literary endeavour generally, out of proportion to the country’s small size.” – Peter Berresford Ellis, Supernatural Literature of the World One of the occasional criticisms of The Green Book is that it’s far too niche. That the focus on Irish literature of the gothic, supernatural, and fantastic is too limiting a remit. I could never really understand this assertion, especially not now that the journal has survived twelve issues—and I’m already working on the next. In fact, I’ve found quite the opposite to be true. …

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The Green Book 11

The Green Book 11

Our previous issue saw a fabulous array of reminiscences of Lord Dunsany—and also some contemporary assessments of his works—written by his Irish colleagues, including Yeats, Bowen, Gogarty, Tynan, A.E., and others. Issue 10 was fascinating to assemble and the process gave me a better understanding of and more insight into Dunsany’s literary standing in Ireland during his lifetime. If you’ve not yet had a look at our Dunsany issue, and you are in any way interested in this important author, I urge you to track down a copy. The focus on Dunsany’s contemporaries in Issue 10 was an approach that …

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The Green Book 10

The Green Book 10

“A man is a very small thing, and the night is very large and full of wonders.” – Lord Dunsany, The Laughter of the Gods (1917) Without question, Lord Dunsany (1878-1957) was one of the leading fantasists of the twentieth-century, fitting in somewhere between William Morris and J. R. R. Tolkien. As a writer he emerged fully formed, with an incomparable prose style and literary sensibilities that can only be described as sui generis. Dunsany’s writing is widely acknowledged as an influence on H. P. Lovecraft and Neil Gaiman, while his stories, novels, and plays are admired by luminaries such …

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The Green Book 9

The Green Book 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 …

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The Green Book 8

The Green Book 8

Looking at this issue’s eclectic contents, I am struck by the richness of Ireland’s varied contributions to genre literature. Though a small island nation, we don’t exist in a hermetically sealed literary bubble. It’s an obvious thing to say, really, but Irish literature has such a strong sense of itself that I sometimes have to remind myself of its kinship with the rest of the literary world. During one of my expeditions to the National Library, I happened upon a contemporary review of E. R. Eddison’s novel The Worm Ouroboros (1922) written by James Stephens, author of the classic fantasy …

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The Green Book 7

The Green Book 7

“Race hatred is the cheapest and basest of all national passions, and it is the nature of hatred, as it is the nature of love, to change us into the likeness of that which we contemplate.” – A.E., The National Being (1916) This issue is a little different than the previous ones. It started as an idea half in jest, but became something unexpectedly more viable. Those living in Ireland will know that this country is in the midst of a year-long commemoration of a watershed event: the 1916 Easter Rising. If you don’t know about this event, take a …

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The Green Book 6

The Green Book 6

So far The Green Book has been avoiding Mr. Bram Stoker. Not out of dislike or animosity, but for a journal that hopes to illuminate the lesser seen corners of Irish fantastic literature, I felt it was okay to let Stoker—our most prominent spokesman—wait patiently in the wings for the first few issues and allow others the spotlight for just a moment. But now that we’re six numbers in, it’s time to give Mr. Stoker his due and allow him to take centre stage. And so we pull back the red velvet curtains on this issue in grand style. It’s …

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The Green Book 5

The Green Book 5

“In Ireland we have a national apathy about literature . . . It began to descend on us after we became self-governing; before that we were imaginative dreamers.” – A.E. to Van Wyck Brooks (10 October 1932) So wrote the poet, painter, and mystic George William Russell (1867-1935)—better known by his spiritual name A.E.—less than a year before he left Ireland after a lifetime working to enrich a nation he loved and dedicated himself to. Yet his vision of Ireland as an enlightened society was seemingly at odds with the mass desire for the cultural censorship and social conservatism that …

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The Green Book 4

The Green Book 4

The summer weather in Ireland has been beautiful, sunny and warm, atypical for sure. Normally our summers are more like our Novembers with “great gusts rattling at the windows, and wailing and thundering among our tall trees and ivied chimneys”—well, maybe not the tall trees or ivied chimneys part. As I re-read Le Fanu’s Uncle Silas this summer, which was first serialised exactly 150 years ago, from July to December 1864, I wondered not only what the weather might have been like that summer—Le Fanu’s chilly prose is not exactly beach-blanket reading, though it is a page-turning thriller—but what would …

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The Green Book 3

The Green Book 3

As many of you already know, 2014 is an important year for Gothic literature. This coming August marks the 200th birth anniversary of Dublin’s “Invisible Prince”, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu. While today hardly recognised in his native country of Ireland, his influence has spread around the globe, not only for his sensational Gothic page-turners, but also for his indelible contributions to the genres of the classic ghost story and modern crime novel. Would there even be Dracula without “Carmilla”? In addition to Le Fanu’s bicentenary, this year also marks the 150th anniversary of Uncle Silas. Perhaps Le Fanu’s best known …

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The Green Book 2

The Green Book 2

As I write this, the newly constructed bridge spanning the River Liffey here in Dublin remains yet unnamed. The short-list is comprised of five Dubliners and includes trade unionist Rosie Hackett, who participated in the 1913 Lockout; and camogie player Kay Mills. But one name among them will stand out to devotees of horror and gothic literature the world over: Bram Stoker. Since Dracula was chosen for One City, One Book in 2009, public awareness of Stoker’s connections with Ireland (he was born in Dublin, so he was!), and Irish acceptance of his importance to world literature, has approached fever …

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The Green Book 1

The Green Book 1

“To my young fellow-countrymen, at home and in exile, in the cottage and the mansion, amidst the green fields and in the crowded cities, soon to be the men of Ireland, I dedicate this little book . . .” – Alexander M. Sullivan, The Story of Ireland (1883) This journal’s inception arose from a series of questions that I’ve long pondered and often asked others: Is there a tradition—a traceable pedigree or lineage of dialogue—in Irish fantastic literature? And if so, in what way might it be defined? How has it developed over the centuries? What are the connections, if …

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