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Oliver Onions (1873 – 1961)
Onions' work has generally been well received. Discussing ghost stories, Algernon Blackwood described The Beckoning Fair One as "the most horrible and beautiful ever written on those lines". J.B. Priestley described Widdershins as a "book of fine creepy stories". Robert Aickman named The Beckoning Fair One as "one of the (possibly) six great masterpieces in the field". E. F. Bleiler lauded Widdershins as "a landmark book in the history of supernatural fiction".
"Widdershins" by Oliver Onions
The centerpiece of this rare collection, "The Beckoning Fair One," is widely regarded as a classic of the horror genre. At first blush, it's a conventional haunted house story involving an unsuccessful writer, who moves into an empty house in hope that isolation will help his failing creativity. His sensitivity and imagination are enhanced by his seclusion, but his art, his only friend, and his sanity are all destroyed in the process.