Monday, September 3, 2018

. . . a disembodied female head of unutterable malignancy . . .

A note here on some recent posts at my Lesser-Known Writers blog.

First, I note Elizabeth Bowen's review of Donald Macpherson's Go Home, Unicorn from the 28 September 1935 issue of The New Statesmen, which was reprinted last year in a collection of her book reviews and essays, The Weight of a World of Feeling, edited by Allan Hepburn: 
Go Home, Unicorn is an excellent thriller, in which biology and the occult mix.  I found it too frightening to finish late at night. The scene when a disembodied female head of unutterable malignancy, followed by a wisp of ectoplasm, trails down an upper-class Montreal dinner table between the candles is particularly good.  And I got very fond of the unicorn who embarrassed the intellectual debutante so much. Unless you are too nervous, certainly read this book. 
Does the book itself live up to such hype?  See my view in my write-up of Donald Macpherson here.

And can anyone help clear up a final point about the involvement of Harry Ludlam (the first biographer of Bram Stoker, and author of The Coming of Jonathan Smith) with the works of ghost-hunter Elliott O'Donnell?  I've got it mostly figured out here. [Update: this point has now been settled, and the Ludlam entry updated.]

Read here about the Fairfields, the most ill-fated literary family that I know of.

Finally, here's a link to my write-up on Bob Leman, whose 1980 short story "Windows" was filmed as a 2001 episode of the television series "Night Visions," starring Bill Pullman.


  1. I'm sure you've read the recent-ish bio of O'Donnell by Richard Whittington-Egan? Maybe he'd know about Ludlam's work on his stuff.

  2. Re my previous comment, having checked the O'Donnell bio I find Ludlam has but a single entry in the index.

    1. Thanks, Sandy. Yes, I have the Whittington-Egan bio of O'Donnell. It gathers together a lot of information, but it leaves out a lot too.