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Blackwood, Algernon (Henry) (1869-1951)

Blackwood, Algernon (Henry) (1869-1951)

British author famous for his brilliant stories on occult themes. He was born March 14, 1869, in Kent, England. At the age of 17 his interest in the mystical and occult was first aroused after reading a translation of the Yoga Sutrus of Patanjali. In 1890 he immigrated to Canada at the age of 20 and had a varied career in Canada and the United States. He worked as a journalist, a dairy farmer, a hotel proprietor, and an actor among other occupations, suffering intense poverty until for a time he became secretary to James Speyer, a millionaire banker.

He returned to Britain in 1899, where he wrote most of his well-known occult stories. "The Willows" (1907) is considered by many as the finest supernatural tale in English. In 1900 he became a member of the famous occult society, the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Blackwood was something of a mystic, particularly responsive to wild natural scenery, and believed that humons possessed latent occult faculties. He died in December 1951 at the age of 82.


Ashley, Mike. Algernon Blackwood: A Bio-Bibliography. West-port, Conn.: Greenwood, 1987.

Blackwood, Algernon. Best Ghost Stories of Algernon Black-wood. Edited by E. F. Bleiler. New York: Dover Publications, 1973.

. Episodes before Thirty. New York: E. P. Dutton, 1924.

. The Human Chord. London: Macmillan, 1910.

. Tales of the Supernatural. Woodbridge, England: Boy-dell Press, 1983.

. Tales of Terror and Darkness. London; New York: Spring Books, 1977. Distributed by Transatlantic Arts.

. The Willows, and Other Queer Tales. 1934.

Sullivan, Jack, ed. The Penguin Encyclopedia of Horror and the Supernatural. New York: Viking, 1986.

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