A Tide of Terror
Hardcover – Published in 1972 by W. H. Allen.
The one thing shared by the eighteen stories in A Tide of Terror—apart from their ability to send delicious shiver up your spine—is their rarity. Hardly any have been anthologised before and most of the stories have been unobtainable for many years. They include representatives of all types of macabre fiction, including ghosts, walking corpses, human and inhuman monsters, witches and curses.
It is probably the first anthology to include a ghost story from each of the three Benson brothers. E. F. Benson is well known to ghost-story enthusiasts but his brothers Arthur and Hugh are not so familiar. There are also little-known masterpieces from such famous names in the genre as Algernon Blackwood, Sax Rohmer and H. R. Wakefield. A Tide of Terror contains some of the best horror stories ever written, and some of the least known.
Preface – by Hugh Lamb
Introduction – Peter Haining
The Red Lodge – H. R. Wakefield
His Unconquerable Enemy – W. C. Morrow
On the Elevator – Joseph Payne Brennan
The Closed Window – A. C. Benson
The Step – E. F. Benson
Father Brent’s Tale – R. H. Benson
Some New Pleasures Prove – Charles Birkin
The Dogs of Pemba – M. H. Lawrence
Full Circle – Algernon Blackwood
The Tregannet Book of Hours – A. N. L. Munby
The Master of Hollow Grange – Sax Rohmer
The Trapdoor – C. D. Heriot
The Sign of the Spider (excerpt) – Bertram Mitford
Some Haunted Houses – Ambrose Bierce
The Eyes – T. O. Beachcroft
Johnson Looked Back – Thomas Burke
The Twelve Apostles – Eleanor Scott
Mrs. Lunt – Hugh Walpole
Where it all began…
Hugh Lamb struck up a correspondence with anthologist Peter Haining, and expressed his frustration with the repetitiveness of horror anthologies. Haining suggested he compile an anthology of his own and send it to some publishers. The result was A Tide of Terror, published by W. H. Allen, who remained Hugh’s publisher throughout the 70s.
“A collection of 18 macabre tales that manages to avoid the familiar. Represented are such well-known authors as Sax Rohmer, Algernon Blackwood, Ambrose Bierce, and Hugh Walpole, as well as E. F. Benson and his two less famous brothers. An enjoyable anthology for those who like their shivers distilled and aged.”
“A tastefully selected get-together of eighteen stories mostly unfamiliar if not ‘unobtainable’ for many years—all revenants from the unhallowed time of August Derleth, etc. You’ll meet the two brothers of E. F. Benson—A. C. with a body dangling from The Closed Window of a Tower of Fear, and R.H. with another friar’s tale, although E. F.’s The Step could be the best in this collection—save for equally venerable T. O. Beachcroft’s might-be-real The Eyes; there’s H. R. Wakefield’s deathtrap in The Red Lodge and Joseph Payne Brennan’s On the Elevator; Algernon Blackwood is here with the gentler Full Circle and Sax Rohmer and Ambrose Bierce and Sir Hugh Walpole… all auld lang syne-posted for superior spectratal entertainment in strange worlds where ‘Queer things happen… Something in the air.'”
“Eighteen tales can be found in A Tide of Terror, edited by Hugh Lamb (W. H. Allen, £2.50). Algernon Blackwood, Sax Rohmer, Sir Hugh Walpole and Margery Lawrence are just a few of the famous authors and the atories include all the macabre… ghosts, walking corpses, witches, curses and monsters.
Typical of the delicious horror… ‘An old and filthy small was in his nostrils. He cried ou gaspingly, terror and disgust arching his body in a rigid convulsion. But his strangled shouts were muffled in frenzied pressure. Weakly he sagged and fell clumsily to the ground.’
Blaydon and Tyneside Courier
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Available on the second-hand market.