Forthcoming titles

(Book titles are subject to change)

Algernon Blackwood's Shorter Supernatural Fiction (2 vols.)

Terrys Texas Rangers

The Last Crusaders

The Defeat of the U-Boats

Sup Richard Middleton

The Battle of Austerlitz

The Campaigns of Alexander

Sabre and Foil Fighting

The Fourth Leonaur Book of Ghost and Horror Stories

The Irish Legion

General Von Zieten

Armoured Cars and Aircraft

The Chinese Regiment

Texas Cavalry and the Laurel Brigade

The First Crusaders

The Lionheart and the Third Crusade

The Winnebagos

Roger Lamb and the American War of Independence

Gronow of the Guards

Plumer of Messines

... and more

The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of F. Marion Crawford: Volume 1

enlarge Click on image to enlarge
enlarge Mouse over the image to zoom in
The Collected Supernatural and Weird Fiction of F. Marion Crawford: Volume 1
Qty:     - OR -   Add to Wish List

Also available at:

Amazon Depository Wordery

Author(s): F. Marion Crawford
Date Published: 2011/06
Page Count: 548
Softcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-548-3
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0-85706-547-6

Volume one of a collection of supernatural and weird tales by a forgotten master of the gothic and occult

Although an American author, writer F(rancis) Marion Crawford was born in Northern Tuscany, the son of sculptor Thomas Crawford, he spent much of his life in the United States, living and working in Boston. His inherent sensitivity to Italy influenced much of his historical fiction. Indeed, in his novel ‘Corleone,’ Crawford became the first author to prominently feature the now very familiar theme of the Mafia in fiction. He also produced notable works of history concerned with the various ages of Italy. Travels in the East and the study of Sanskrit in India gave him a grounding in the oriental and an interest in the other worldly. Although the themes of supernatural and weird fiction are often believed to be expressed to best effect in the short story most of Crawford’s literary output consisted of novels. Fortunately, several of these include distinctly fantastical themes. His comparatively small oeuvre of short ghost and horror tales is so finely crafted that they have become some of the most highly regarded examples of the form in the English language. M. R James considered some of them to be among the best supernatural stories written, with the chilling and claustrophobic ‘The Upper Berth’ being especially singled out for merit. Crawford’s talent for this genre is so widely acknowledged that it has been rightly noted that the greatest shame was that he did not write more—praise indeed! This five volume Leonaur collection of Crawford’s strange novels, novellas and short stories provides a superb and substantial collection by one of Americas finest nineteenth century authors.
This first volume includes the novel ‘The Witch of Prague,’ a tale of obsession at the core of which is a woman of extraordinary powers aided by her familiar Arabian dwarf; a second novel ‘Marzio’s Crucifix’ and the short story ‘The Doll’s Ghost,’ probably the first story using the now familiar theme of a doll seems possessing a terrible ‘life’ of its own.
Leonaur editions are newly typeset and are not facsimiles; each title is available in softcover and hardback with dustjacket.

With unconscious fingers she tore at her heavy hair until it fell about her like a curtain. In the raging thirst of a great grief for tears that would not flow she beat her bosom, she beat her face, she struck with her white forehead the heavy table before her, she grasped her own throat, as though she would tear the life out of herself. Then again her head fell forward and her body swayed regularly to and fro, and low words broke fiercely from her trembling lips now and then, bitter words of a wild, strong language in which it is easier to curse than to bless. As the sudden love that had in a few hours taken such complete possession of her was boundless, so its consequences were illimitable. In a nature strange to fear, the fear for another wrought a fearful revolution. Her anger against herself was as terrible as her fear for him she loved was paralysing. The instinct to act, the terror lest it should be too late, the impossibility of acting at all so long as she was imprisoned in the room, all three came over her at once.<br>
The mechanical effort of rocking her body from side to side brought no rest; the blow she struck upon her breast in her frenzy she felt no more than the oaken door had felt those she had dealt it with the club. She could not find even the soothing antidote of bodily pain for her intense moral suffering. Again the time passed without her knowing or guessing of its passage.<br>
Driven to desperation she sprang at last from her seat and cried aloud.<br>
“I would give my soul to know that he is safe!”<br>
The words had not died away when a low groan passed, as it were, round the room. The sound was distinctly that of a human voice, but it seemed to come from all sides at once. Unorna stood still and listened.<br>
“Who is in this room?” she asked in loud clear tones.<br>
Not a breath stirred. She glanced from one specimen to another, as though suspecting that among the dead some living being had taken a disguise. But she knew them all. There was nothing new to her there. She was not afraid. Her passion returned.<br>
“My soul!—yes!” she cried again, leaning heavily on the table, “I would give it if I could know, and it would be little enough!”<br>
Again that awful sound filled the room, and rose now almost to a wail and died away.<br>
Unorna’s brow flushed angrily. In the direct line of her vision stood the head of the Malayan woman, its soft, embalmed eyes fixed on hers.<br>
“If there are people hidden here,” cried Unorna fiercely, “let them show themselves! let them face me! I say it again—I would give my immortal soul!”<br>
This time Unorna saw as well as heard. The groan came, and the wail followed it and rose to a shriek that deafened her. And she saw how the face of the Malayan woman changed; she saw it move in the bright lamplight, she saw the mouth open. Horrified, she looked away. Her eyes fell upon the squatting savages—their heads were all turned towards her, she was sure that she could see their shrunken chests heave as they took breath to utter that terrible cry again and again; even the fallen body of the African stirred on the floor, not five paces from her. Would their shrieking never stop? All of them—every one—even to the white skulls high up in the case; not one skeleton, not one dead body that did not mouth at her and scream and moan and scream again.<br>
Unorna covered her ears with her hands to shut out the hideous, unearthly noise. She closed her eyes lest she should see those dead things move. Then came another noise. Were they descending from their pedestals and cases and marching upon her, a heavy-footed company of corpses?
Fearless to the last, she dropped her hands and opened her eyes.
You may also like