THE TERRACES OF NIGHT Margery Lawrence, with an intro by Richard Dalby. Ashcroft, BC, Canada; Ash-Tree Press; 1999. 1st edition hardcover.
The Terraces of Night, Margery Lawrence's equally rare 'sequel' to her elusive 1926 collection Nights of the Round Table, was first published in 1932. It bore the subtitle 'being further Chronicles of the "Club of the Round Table"'; but the stories in the second volume dispensed with the dining-club prologues and epilogues, concentrating instead on the strange tales themselves.
Many, if not all, of the twelve stories in The Terraces of Night were originally published as stand-alone pieces in popular magazines of the day, and they vary in tone from the macabre and menacing to the gentle and pastoral. Lawrence shows herself to be a master of the supernatural short story, in tales set in such diverse locations as Africa, rural France, Austria, and the English countryside. Her hauntings—involving such objects as a Russian ikon, a crystal snuff-box, a wayside shrine, and an African curse—are memorable and gripping, and her cast of characters is wide-ranging, from a French concierge discussing a mysterious tenant to a young American girl swept up in events which take her out of her safe and secure little world.
The Terraces of Night is in all ways a worthy successor to the author's earlier collection of weird tales. In his introduction, Richard Dalby continues his biography of Margery Lawrence, discussing her marriage to Arthur Towle and her little-known first marriage to an Italian flying ace: a marriage which is still, eight decades later, steeped in secrecy, mystery, and romance.
Contents: 'The Crystal Snuff-Box'; 'Mare Amore'; 'Tinpot Landing'; 'The Portrait of Comtesse X'; 'Nannory House'; 'The Room at the Rosenhaus'; 'The Ikon'; 'The Dream'; 'The Dogs of Pemba'; 'The Strange Case of Miss Cox'; 'The Death Strap'; 'The Shrine at the Cross-Roads'.
Jacket art is by Paul Lowe. Limited to 600 copies. Fine in fine dj.