DEAR DEAD WOMEN the weird stories of Edna G. Underwood by Edna W. Underwood, introduction by S.T. Joshi. Leyburn, North Yorkshire, UK; Tartarus Press; 2010. 1st edition hardcover.
These nine tales represent the sum total of American writer Edna Underwood's foray into the decadent and supernatural. Best known for her historical novels and her translations, Underwood was born in Maine in 1873. A gifted linguist, she read widely in European literature, and lost her first teaching job because of her propensity to read decadent, yellow-bound books.
Few are aware of Edna Underwood's solitary collection of short fiction, A Book of Dear dead Women (1911), and even fewer of the excellent long horror story 'An Orchid of Asia', reprinted here for the first time since its appearance in Asia magazine in 1920. And yet the collection received good reviews, the Philadelphia Press noting that the stories had 'something of the fantastically imaginative power of Hawthorne, combined with a gorgeousness of imagery that a writer fresh from the puritanical traditions could hardly have attained to . . .' The mingling of beauty and terror is the hallmark of her best work and links it with the writing of several of her contemporaries, including Oscar Wilde, Lafcadio Hearn, Lord Dunsany, and Robert W. Chambers. It is hoped that this collection will introduce readers to a long-neglected writer who deserves more recognition in the genre.
Contains: "Introduction" by S.T. Joshi, "The Painter of Dead Women", "The Mirror of La Granja", "Liszt's Concerto Pathétique", "Sister Seraphine", "The Sacred Relics of Saint Euthymius", "The Opal Isles", "The House of Gauze", "The King", "An Orchid of Asia", "Bibliography".
Publication: 25th May 2010.
Dear Dead Women is a sewn hardback of 237+xiv pages.
Limited to 300 copies.