The Thrill of Horror
Hardcover – Published in 1975 by W. H. Allen.
The accent of this collection of horror stories is on quality and rarity, and the twenty-two pieces more than fultil both requirements. The book starts where most anthologies end. It is one of the most outstanding collections of its kind available today.
The torso in the bed… the thing in the chimney… the beast from the sea and the burial alive… the cloven hoof-print and the midnight caller… the skull in the basket and the ghost in the rain… the lurking terror in the madhouse… the wizard’s ghost and the gouged-out eyes—these are some of the terrifying tales in the anthology.
Ghost story enthusiasts will be delighted to see a story by M. R. James making its first appearance in book form for over forty years. There are also stories from famous writers, like H. R. Wakefield and Charles Birkin, tales from neglected authors such as E. H. Visiak, A. C. Benson and Frederick Cowles, new unpublished chillers from L. T. C. Rolt, Joy Burnett and A. Erskine Ellis, and unexpected terrors from H. Rider Haggard and Vale Bryusov.
Introduction – Hugh Lamb
Only a Dream – H. Rider Haggard
The Meerschaum Pipe – L. A. Lewis
The Life-Buoy – A. Erskine Ellis
The Lady of Rosemount – Sir T. G. Jackson
How It Happened – John Gawsworth
In the Mirror – Valery Brussov
“Calling Miss Marker” – Joy Burnett
A Night of Horror – Dick Donovan
The Shouting – L. T. C. Rolt
The Happy Dancers – Charles Birkin
The Weed Men (excerpt) – William Hope Hodgson
Eyes for the Blind – Frederick Cowles
Mr. Ash’s Studio – H. R. Wakefield
Montage of Death – Robert Haining
Pallinghurst Barrow – Grant Allen
Randall’s Round – Eleanor Scott
The Skeleton at the Feast – E. H. Visiak
Medusan Madness – E. H. Visiak
Out of the Sea – A. C. Benson
Witch In-Grain – R. Murray Gilchrist
The Tudor Chimney – A. N. L. Munby
The Experiment – M. R. James
This anthology marked the first appearance of author Robert Haining, the brother of celebrated anthologist Peter Haining, who had played a large part in Hugh Lamb’s entry into the world of publishing.
The Thrill of Horror presented what was, at the time, something of a literary coup. Hugh Lamb’s discovery of a previously unpublished (in anthology form) M. R. James story, The Experiment, was, by his own admission, one of the proudest moments of his career.
“Editor Lamb who has produced three previous similar collections, continues his cheerful exhumations of out of print or long lost tales by masters and apprentices. A major coup here is the discovery of a ‘new’ M. R. James, a grave bit of business—not the best but bearing the stamp of the artist; there’s a valleyful of slimy monsters by William Hope Hodgson; an insidious ambiguity about E. H. Visiak’s story of possession; and a haunted glen echoing with The Shouting as recorded by L. T. C. Holt. The stories come from differing periods (from the Victorians on) and the styles, which deal with both the supernatural or ‘the real horror tale, (about) the nasty things people do to each other.’ For the antiquarian or purist—some classy cerements.”
“Lamb states in his foreword that the stories he chooses for his anthologies must be both good and rare. Most of the 21 authors included in this offering will be unfamiliar to teenage readers, and those who like tales of ghosts, gruesomeness, hauntings, and prehistoric rites will not be disappointed by the collection. The author’s last horror anthology was Victorian Tales of Terror.”
“Readers will not find here stories that have been anthologized to death. On the contrary, this is a remarkably fresh and unfamiliar collection that should bring a series of chills to horror lovers. In most cases, the stories have appeared before only in original publication, some are new, and one writer, Robert Haining, makes his debut here. Skulls and ghosts and possession and chimneys and madhouses predominate, written about by often- forgotten masters of the genre such as E. H. Visiak, A. C. Benson, Frederick Cowles. And you can also sample H. R. Wakefield, Charles Birkin, H. Rider Haggard, Joy Burnett and others for macabre delights. Hugh Lamb introduces each author and has selected for quality throughout. Terror treats for spook lovers.”
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OUT OF PRINT
Available on the second-hand market.