New on Librixov in free chaptered audiobook, A. C. Benson’s Where No Fear Was: A Book About Fear (1914).
Benson was the Master of Magdalene College, Cambridge. A writer of short stories, including what are said to be ghost stories in the English tradition and the Edwardian style. An occasional translator of the macabre into English. A poet and a writer of at a least one popular song lyric. He published his diaries in 1926.
Partial contents listing.
His 1914 book on fear was admired by the likes of Wilfred Owen, who read it while recovering in a bleak northern war hospital in 1917. One assumes that Lovecraft perused the book at some point, out of professional interest. Although it’s not listed in the edition of Lovecraft’s Library that I have access to. He would almost certainly have a read at least one review of it, in the likes of The Spectator.
Lovecraft was aware in passing of Benson’s essays, since he noted them in the United Amateur in July 1917 while profiling another amateur…
“Apart from fiction, Miss Barnhart is fond of books on travel and of light essays such as those of Mark Twain, Stevenson, and Arthur Benson.”
If he had read these same essays is another matter. But he did read his equally prolific brother, E.F. Benson, who also wrote rather more impressive ghost and horror stories among much else. Lovecraft read and admired these stories, noting Benson’s work in his “Weird Story Plots” work-book. He also mentioned Benson in his survey “Supernatural Horror in Literature”.