A full scan of On Strange Altars: a book of enthusiasms (1924) by Paul Jordan-Smith, containing his essay “Black Magic—An Impression of Arthur Machen”. A hat-tip to the Son of Yog-Sothoth, who writes that…

The second part of the essay is, perhaps to me, the most unexpected: the author had in 1920 travelled to England and visited Arthur Machen and his wife, where Machen briefly spoke of his acquaintance with Oscar Wilde. It seems to me that I must have read something of this in one of the essays or biographies of Machen, but I’ll leave tracking that down to some other day.”

This may interest some, as it’s a view of Machen by an American who discovered him a few years before Lovecraft did. Lovecraft first discovered Machen’s work in the summer of 1923 (S.T. Joshi, I Am Providence, p.454).

Paul Jordan-Smith’s Cables of Cobweb book, listed facing the title page, sounds like a supernatural novel but apparently isn’t…

A young Virginian, revolting against his parents conservatism, experiments with radicalism but with maturity becomes conservative”

Likewise his novel Nomad, which seems to have been a sort of light-hearted philosophical quest story, with the hero and his companions moving through and exemplifying various philosophies. It sounds like Pilgrim’s Progress meets Gulliver’s Travels?

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